Laundry detergent pods were first introduced to the market in 2012. Since then, these detergent pods have found a more permanent place in the market but it has lead to some dangerous results. News reports last week once again detailed the growing danger that laundry detergent pods pose to young children. On Monday, researchers at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital published a study detailing the hazardous effects that result when children consume detergent pods.
The study, conducted over a two-year span, consisted of data gathered from 62,254 calls made between 2013-2014 to poison control centers across the United States. All calls studied detailed cases where children under the age of 6 were exposed, primarily through ingestion, to laundry and dishwasher detergent. The calls revealed a 17% increase in reports of children consuming laundry detergent pods and a 14% increase in children consuming dishwasher detergent packets. The study also revealed a wide variety of injuries suffered by pod consumption including: 17 coma cases, 6 respiratory arrest cases, 4 cases of children suffering from pulmonary edema, and 2 cases of cardiac arrest.
Concern regarding the health hazards of detergent pods is not a recent development. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified that detergent pods posed a threat to public health after four cases where children suffered injuries after consuming detergent pods were reported. Similarly, in 2014, the Research Institute also discovered the dangers presented by detergent pods after analyzing 17,000 cases where children suffered from vomiting, respiratory issues, and, in some cases, death after being exposed to detergent pods.
As the Research Institute’s most recent study shows, detergent pods certainly should raise public health concerns. When discussing the study’s results, Dr. Gary Smith, the director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital said, “we have never seen anything like this. . . We’ve even had two deaths in the last two years due to exposure to laundry detergent packets.” In total, at least seven people have died after ingesting detergent pods including children and elderly adults with dementia.
Critics of these types of detergent pods claim that children are attracted to the pods because the packets’ bright colors and aromas closely resemble candy or a teething toy. The National Capitol Poison Center encourages parents of young children to prevent poisonings by storing laundry products out of sight and reach of children or using liquid detergent instead. In another effort to deter consumption of detergent pods, several US manufactures have agreed to coat their products with a bitter substance. Likewise, lawmakers have also taken a stab at trying to reduce the harms presented by detergent pods. In February of this year, Representative Jackie Speier introduced the Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety Act in the House of Representatives in an attempt to combat the dangers posed by detergent pods. However, this bill has yet to be passed. Hopefully, these efforts will assist in preventing injuries.
David Rapoport is the founding and managing partner of Rapoport Law Offices. In his over 31 years as a full time trial attorney, he has won numerous multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Mr. Rapoport is a member of the invitation only American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an association of premier trial attorneys who are dedicated to preserving the right to trial by jury. ABOTA's general mission is "to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be benefited by more efficient administration of justice consistent with time-tested and traditional principles of litigation." For over 20 years Martindale-Hubbell, through its Peer Review RatingsTM program, has consistently ranked David Rapoport as AV® PreeminentTM, its highest professional rating. This is a testament to Mr. Rapoport's abilities as an attorney and commitment to maintaining the highest ethical standards. Mr. Rapoport has also been selected by Thompson Reuters, another prominent legal publisher, as an Illinois “Super Lawyer” every year since the inception of the Super Lawyer program. Super Lawyer designation is limited to the top 5 percent of lawyers in a state in any given year. Since 1990, David Rapoport has been board certified* in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy ("NBTA"), the oldest and largest not-for-profit American Bar Association accredited trial attorney certification program. Attorneys with NBTA certification have proven ability in their field through specialized written examinations and meeting rigorous criteria for trial experience and ethical ratings. Mr. Rapoport has proven his currency and substantial trial experience through NBTA recertification in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. David Rapoport has served as a leader of the movement to encourage board certification for trial lawyers for more than twenty years. Currently he is the President of the National Board of Trial Advocacy and its parent organization the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification. He recently explained: "In this era of Wild West style minimally regulated lawyer advertising, it has never been more important for the public to have easy and reliable means of identifying members of the small fraction of practicing attorneys who truly have substantial experience trying cases. Board certification programs help consumers of legal services make more informed choices. Too many lawyers are out there claiming to have substantial trial experience when in truth they have never tried a case. Board certified trial lawyers have proven their substantial trial experience in ways the public can trust." Mr. Rapoport is a member of the President's Club and Leader's Forum of the American Association for Justice and the state trial lawyer associations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky. He is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. * Board certification is not required to practice law in Illinois and the Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize specialties in the practice of law.