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Doctors Reported Intoxications of Detergents among Children

Laundry detergent companies have started manufacturing miniature detergent products as a good substitute to big bottles. But recently in USA, kids were observed swallowing these detergents after getting them confused with tiny, colorful candies. Different poison control centers have reported nearly 250 cases. According to doctors, symptoms like nausea and breathing problems have been observed in these detergent poisonings.

Dallas toxicologist and professor at the University of Texas, Dr. Kurt Klein Schmidt stated that he is unaware of the reason of these detergent intoxications. After treating two and more severe cases, he conjured that these newly arrived detergents are more toxic than standard ones. Tide, Purex and different detergent companies have introduced tiny packs of single-use detergents, about 1-inch size, that dissolve in right amount of water and laundry. Big bulky detergent bottles and messy spills might be the only reason behind introducing this candy like detergents.

Poison Control Centers started getting calls soon after these detergents were released into markets, in late March. Texas reported 71 incidents; Missouri cited 24 and Illinois 26. Director of Missouri Poison Control Center, Julie Weber said that these tiny packets contain bright blue and red detergents, shaped into candy like structure, for the ease of use and riddance of mess that bulky bottles create. Paul Fox, spokesman for Proctor and Gamble, Cincinnati stated that they were working with poison control centers to make sure that people and parents are aware of the risks and their handling. He also added that these packets are safe if used for what they are intended for. The risk takes birth when these packets are placed just like normal house-hold and get in reach of kids and small hands. Further, he reported that these detergent packets were common in Europe but recently introduced in American market and it was early to say that whether shop owners will replace liquid and powder detergents with these tiny detergent packets.

Apart from detergent intoxications, health care centers also received poisoning cases from other substances as well. Last year, they reported intoxications from ibuprofen, rash cream and other child care products. But doctors were alarmed to see these tiny little detergent packets.

Doctors from various health centers said that they were alarmed because these detergents appeared to be hard to swallow then normal liquid detergent. They also explained that the exposure to these newly introduced detergents has caused severe illness than the standard liquid detergent. Dr. Fred Henretig of Children’s hospital Philadelphia reported that 17-month old boy was admitted in hospital when he popped in one of the pill-shaped detergent. The boy felt drowsy, vomited and was hospitalized. Another same incident in Indiana happened where child was placed on ventilator after swallowing the detergent.

Marketing manager at Purex, Kiem Ho, said that UltraPacks™ comes with a warning label to keep away from children. He further added that they will launch a meeting with other manufacturers to educate consumers about the health hazards of these detergents and also how to store these packs safely.


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