Laundry detergent pods may look like candy to small children, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) wants companies to do something to make them less appealing.  Kids who have made that mistake and bit into the detergent packets have suffered seizures, respiratory arrest, and even fallen into comas. Durbin says the companies making the products have been slow to respond, and he’s pushing new legislation to get safety standards put in place.

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“If you own a company that is trying to appeal to America’s families to use your products, and you hear that one of those products may be dangerous to families, wouldn’t you want to step up and show corporate responsibility and leadership?” Durbin said. “That’s why we’re starting with the voluntary approach, but if it doesn’t work, we’re going to move beyond it. 

Among Durbin’s suggestions are changing the design and color of the pods so they don’t look like candy to kids, and making the bags containing the pods harder to open. 

The Illinois Poison Center says it received 449 calls regarding laundry pods last year, up from fewer than 100 in 2012. The center is encouraging parents to keep pods out of reach of children, and if possible, use liquid or powder detergent instead.


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