Procter & Gamble (P&G) is set to create a new double-latch lid in the US to ensure consumer safety, after hundreds of cases of children accessing and eating detergents from packs such as Tide Pods have been reported to poison control centres around the country.
Introduced to the US market in 2012 by several firms as an alternative to liquid or powder detergent, Tide Pods and other similar products are comprised of one-inch coloured laundry packets that dissolve in the wash to release detergent.
Last week, the American Association of Poison Control Centers urged parents in the US to keep highly concentrated ‘single-dose packs’ of laundry detergent away from children.
The association said that some young children and toddlers are swallowing the coloured packets, mistaking them for candy, and falling ill, although no deaths have been reported.
P&G is reportedly the first firm to announce the alteration in the package of Tide Pods in light of the safety concerns. The current package is a clear plastic see-through tub displaying pods with bright blue, orange and white stripes.
While P&G considers whether to change the appearance of the detergent pods, the company is looking to roll out the new tubs with a double-latch lid in July 2012.
Procter & Gamble spokesman Paul Fox said the company plans to create a new lid on tubs of Tide Pods in the next couple of weeks, while continuing to study the design of the package.
"We’ve looked at it very carefully to see what we can do, and we’ll continue to look at that," Fox said.
Carolinas Poison Center medical director Dr. Michael Buehler said Tide’s tougher lid could make a difference, but it was too early to know for sure.
P&G, which launched Tide Pods after eight years of R&D, aims to sell $300m worth of pods in the first year.
All Mighty Pac by Sun Products, Purex Ultrapacks by Henkel and OxiClean, Arm & Hammer Power Pack by Church & Dwight, and Dropps Laundry Detergent Pacs from Cot’n Wash are among the other coloured detergent packets prevailing in the US laundry market.