Detergent pods inside airtight container
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Laundry Pods Have Some Unexpected Downsides
Laundry pods have been a convenient household staple since 2012. Unfortunately laundry detergent pods continue to be a threat to both consumers and the environment.
The colorful and squeezable capsules have been mistaken for candy by the unsuspecting, including children. Many have harmed themselves by aspirating or ingesting the contents.
Harmful effects tend to be minor, but extreme ones include burns in the mouth, eyes, or lungs, gastrointestinal damage, and respiratory arrest that can possibly lead to death.
Stunts like the so-called Tide Pod Challenge have led to the deliberate misuse and ingesting of these pods. Procter and Gamble, Tide's parent company, has taken action.
The company produced a PSA warning, strengthened the containers and the pod’s outer layer, and added denatonium benzoate, an extremely bitter substance, to the soap.
Beyond health concerns, pods also have a negative effect on aquatic ecosystems. They contain polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which turns into a nonbiodegradable plastic solution when wet.