Tide Pod Problems: Individually Wrapping Laundry Detergent Packets Should Have Been Done Years Ago

Carl Saiontz

By Carl Saiontz
Posted April 4, 2018


The makers of Tide Pods and similar single-load packets have known for years that their products are causing severe and potentially life-threatening laundry detergent poisoning injuries to children nationwide, due to the brightly colored pods and the candy-like appearance of packaging containers.

Many of these Tide Pod problems could have been avoided by simple packaging and design changes. Yet Proctor & Gamble and other manufacturers have resisted efforts to make Tide Pods less attractive for young children to put in their mouth, and continued to sell their product without individually wrapping each pack or eliminating the bright colors of the transparent gel pod.

Soon after Tide Pods, All Mighty Pacs, Purex Ultra Packs and other similar laundry detergent pods hit the market, problems were identified by safety experts and parents.

Timeline of Tide Pod Design Risks

  • September 2012 — A report published in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood warned that single use laundry detergent pods posed a major health concern to children after doctors in the U.K. reported rising numbers of poisoning accidents involving children under the age of two.
  • October 2012 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues a warning about the risk of young children being exposed to laundry pods.
  • November 2012 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues a safety alert warning parents and caregivers to make sure Tide Pods and other laundry detergent packets are kept locked up and out of sight and out of reach of children.
  • July 2013 — Procter & Gamble announces changes to Tide Pod packaging, but fails to remove the bright colors or individually wrap each pack, leading to continued reports of poisoning incidents.
  • July 2014 — The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) warns that it received more than 5,600 reports of laundry pod exposures among children ages 5 or younger in the first half of 2014 alone.
  • October 2014 — A report published in the Journal of American Association for Pediatric Opthalmology and Strabismus warns that, besides ingestion, many children are being treated for eye injuries due to exposure to the liquid in laundry detergent pods.
  • November 2014 — A study published in the medical journal Pediatrics warns that one child per day is hospitalized due to laundry pod exposure.
  • July 2015 — Consumer Reports warns that the risks of single-use detergent pods may outweigh the benefits, and recommends that they no longer be used.
  • September 2015 — The industry proposes new voluntary standards calling for changes to make laundry pods less attractive to young children.
  • January 2016 — The AAPCC reports that it received more than 12,594 reports of children ages 5 and younger being exposed to detergent pods in 2015; a rate of more than 1,000 incidents per month.
  • June 2016 — A study published in Injury Prevention warns that exposure to the contents of detergent pods is much more dangerous for children than exposure to traditional detergents due to its concentrated nature.
  • June 2017 — Consumer Reports warns that not only are children endangered by Tide Pods and similar products, but adults with dementia also face a risk, finding that at least six of the eight deaths over the last several years due to laundry pod exposure were of adults with the mental disorder.
  • January 2018 — The AAPCC reports a spike in intentional laundry pod poisonings among teens, who took a prank “Tide Pod Challenge” seriously and attempted to consume them.

Tide Pod Injuries Continue at Alarming Rate

This week, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) issued updated statistics, which suggest that problems with Tide Pods and other laundry detergent packets continue at an alarming rate.

Between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018, poison control centers nationwide received 1,922 reports involving children 5 and younger exposed to Tide Pods or other single-load laundry packets

Many of these incidents resulted in the need for hospitalization, and left children with life-long injuries or vision damage. Unfortunately, these most of these continuing Tide Pod problems could have been avoided by simple packaging changes that should have been made years ago.

Individually wrapping each Tide Pod: Placing each laundry detergent pack in a contained, child-proof wrapping would have prevented young children from accessing the concentrated laundry detergent, and made the individual pods less visible and attractive.

Tide Pod Lawsuits

The Tide Pod injury lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing claims by parents and caretakers whose children or charges suffered serious injuries or death after being exposed to the contents of Tide Pods and other single-use detergent packets.

These exposures can lead to:

  • Emergency Room Treatment
  • Hospitalization
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Chemical Burns
  • Eye Damage
  • Vision Loss
  • Other Problems

If you, a family member, or the child of a family member have suffered injuries due to Tide Pod exposure, request a free consultation and claim evaluation. All claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, and there are never any out of pocket expenses, and no fees unless a recovery is obtained.


3 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • jim says:

    I have a 11 mo old Boxer puppy (registered with show potential) that got into Tide Pods earlier this year. After several thousand $ Vet. & hospital bills I have a good looking Boxer with neurological damage that is now considered “pet quality”. We are going to keep him & try to make something out of him but it is going to be a struggle. If you consider this actionable I will tell you more of the story. If not please advise.
    Thank you for reading of our dog problem.

    Posted on September 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm

  • Dean says:

    In all of these statements I have not seen a recommendation that parents or other people keep these toxic pods out of the reach of children or pets. I think that any “normal” person can see the potential hazards of leaving these pods out in the open. We have been told repeatedly now for decades to “keep out of reach of children”, yet 5600 times in 6 months. Apparently the world is a place full of retarded parents that are bent on destroying their children by not heeding clear warnings, but are very willing and able to receive compensation from detergent companies that are being sued for providing what people want.

    Posted on November 1, 2018 at 2:27 pm

  • Linda says:

    Where is the FDA?? THIS IS EXTREMLEY DANGEROUS. WE WILL ALL BEAR THE COST TO HELP THE CHILDREN AFFECTED. Parents need to stop exchanging convenience for childrens health. What are they thinking??! Stupid, stupid, stupid!!

    Posted on November 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm

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