They are small, neat, easy, and convenient — and seriously hazardous to young children’s health. In light of past studies highlighting the dangers of single-load laundry detergent pods (an estimated 17,000 children under six years old exposed to their contents in a 2-year time period, with two deaths; 11,714 exposures in 2014), and new data which shows more than 6,000 calls to poison control centers in the first six months of 2015, Consumer Reports has decided they’ve seen enough and will no longer recommend these candy imposters:
As early as September 2012, Consumer Reports called on manufacturers to make pods safer. Many responded with positive change—for example, switching from clear to opaque plastic for outer containers and, on some, adding child-resistant latches to make it more difficult to get to the pods. But too many kids are still getting their hands on them, often with grave consequences.
Given the continued danger, we have made the decision to not include pods on our list of recommended laundry detergents. (None makes the cut in our latest tests, but some have been picks in the past.) And we strongly urge households where children younger than 6 are ever present to skip them altogether; our new position doesn’t apply to laundry (or dishwasher) pods that contain powder, because injuries associated with them are less frequent and less severe.
Remember the number to your Poison Control Center: