It was reported last month that a 7-month-old boy who swallowed a laundry packet died last year as a result of ingesting the soap. In August, the infant, Michael Williams, was at an Osceola County, Fla., battered women’s shelter when his mother said she stepped away from the bed where the baby was sleeping. She returned to find the boy had eaten a detergent pod that was inside a laundry basket on the bed. An autopsy revealed that the soap caused the death.
This death is thought to be the first reported fatality in the nation tied to the popular detergent packets that consumer advocates and poison control centers warn are toxic. Since the packets were introduced to U.S. and European markets, thousands of children have fallen ill after ingesting the colorful, candy-like packets popularized as a more efficient tool for washing laundry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started tracking detergent packet poisoning in 2012 because of the alarming number of exposures to children.
Reports came in across the country of children suffering extreme symptoms including lethargy, difficulty breathing and prolonged vomiting following an ingestion. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has said the products are poisonous and they are working with the industry to make them less attractive to children. Companies like Procter & Gamble have placed safety labels on the products and changed the packaging to discourage curious children from opening them. In Florida alone, more than 252 children 5 and younger were sickened after exposure to laundry detergent packets this year, according to the state poison control centers.
Source: Orlando Sentinel
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