In related news, Seventh Generation recently released its own line of natural laundry detergent packs. Although I'm guessing the toxicity level of Seventh Gen concentrated powder packs is far lower than that of Tide Pods and other conventional options — they're biodegradable, free of synthetic fragrances and dyes, and far less candy-like in appearance — they should still be stored appropriately. This apartment-dwelling laundromat patron recently got his hands on some and looks forward to trying them out.
In most cases, ingesting detergent causes mild symptoms such as upset stomach. However, possibly because they are more concentrated, swallowing detergent packets can cause severe symptoms like vomiting, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Injuries can range from soft tissue damage, including serious chemical burns to the esophagus, to severe eye irritation and swelling of the airways that may require a breathing tube. Due to their size, detergent packets also pose a choking hazard.
Anyone out there had a close call with Tide Pod and other single-dose laundry detergent packs? Have you avoided buying them all together due to their unfortunate toddler appeal?
Detergent packets are designed to dissolve in the washing machine or dishwasher. They are often brightly-colored and come in packaging that can make them look like candy to a small child. Because chemicals in the packets are highly alkaline, damage can occur very quickly once the rubbery outer casing softens or breaks open.