New York lawmakers call for safer detergent packaging regulations

8 February 2018 (Last Updated February 8th, 2018 09:34)

New York lawmakers in the US have introduced a bill calling for a new law that mandates companies to follow stronger safety regulations while manufacturing liquid detergent packets.

New York lawmakers call for safer detergent packaging regulations
The new law seeks to enforce stronger regulations for packaging of liquid detergent packets. Credit: The New York State Senate.

New York lawmakers in the US have introduced a bill calling for a new law that mandates companies to follow stronger safety regulations while manufacturing liquid detergent packets.

Sponsored by State Assembly member Aravella Simotas and State Senator Brad Hoylman and introduced in Senate Consumer Protection Committee last week, the bill comes after the lawmakers wrote a letter to Procter & Gamble urging the company to redesign the packaging of its colourful liquid detergent Tide PODs.

“Toxic substances like these laundry pods should not be packaged to look like candy or toys which lure children to put them in their mouths.”

In the letter, the lawmakers asked the company to ensure the packaging contains uniform colours and warning labels to deter toddlers from biting the product mistaking it for a toy or candy.

Accidental poisoning caused by ingestion of the Tide PODs leads to vomiting, chemical burns, respiratory distress, seizures, loss of consciousness, fluid in the lungs and even death, according to the letter.

New York Assembly member Aravella Simotas said: “Toxic substances like these laundry pods should not be packaged to look like candy or toys which lure children to put them in their mouths.

“Even though the industry has adopted voluntary standards, they are not working and it’s now clear why we need a law to lessen the risk of poisonings.”

The letter also points to ‘Tide Pod Challenge’, an ongoing social media craze that involves teenagers consuming the tide pods as an act of fun.

Despite measures taken by companies to tackle accidental poising from ingestion, they have been found wanting and hence the lawmakers urged for stringent regulations to thwart the recurrence of such incidents.

New York State American Academy of Pediatrics policy and advocacy director Elie Ward said: “It is our hope that the clear warnings and requirements for child proof packaging in this bill will help educate parents about this dangerous product and further protect infants and toddlers in NY from accidental poisoning.”

Once the senate committee processes the bill, it needs to be passed in the US Senate and Assembly to become a law.