There were over six thousand cases of laundry pod exposures reported to poison centers around the nation in 2012. The majority of the exposures were in children under 5 years old. Ninety percent of the pod-related poisonings were from ingesting the detergent. The most common symptoms from exposures include gastrointestinal, skin, eye, respiratory and neurological manifestations. Severe cases resulted in metabolic lactic acidosis, epiglottic swelling, dysphagia, aspiration and altered mental status.
Introduced to the market in 2010, laundry detergent pods are different from regular powder or liquid laundry detergent. These products are highly concentrated and packaged in colorful, small, water-soluble packets and are equal in cleaning power to over a cup or more of powder or liquid detergents.
The manufacturing companies are now changing the packaging in an attempt to reduce the risk of pediatric poisoning.