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Products Liability: Laundry Detergent Concerns for Children

We all know that cleaning supplies should be left away from the kitchen, stored out of reach from children, and should not come in contact with our hands, eyes, or face. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued a report pertaining to laundry detergent pods, the less-than-a-cubic inch plastic pouches that contain both liquid and powder detergents. Recently, Consumer Reports indicated that not only have there been hundreds of reported cases regarding health incidents in children that have come in contact with the pods, but that the pods are “too dangerous to recommend” for use in family homes where children live.

The Concern Regarding Pods

The laundry detergent pods are now ranked alongside bleach and drain cleaner when it comes to toxin levels and should not be used in homes with children. It is not immediately clear if these pods have caused harm to children only through ingestion, but there have been reports of mere contact with the pods causing serious harm. There have been two reported deaths, in addition to thousands more reports involving vomiting, coughing, and in some serious cases, seizures and breathing problems. At this time, the CDC’s concern seems to be with laundry detergent pods, but may extend to dishwashing liquid pods. “Regular” laundry detergent, along with nearly any other type of household cleaning product can still be dangerous if ingested or touched, especially for children. Nearly any type of cleaning component should be handled very carefully and kept away from other household items.

Product Safety Responsibility

Developers, manufacturers, and even distributors have an obligation to the general public to place only reasonably safe products on our shelves. When they fail to do so and someone becomes injured or ill as a result, they may be held accountable under the theory of products liability law. Consumers must be able to rely on manufacturers and retailers to provide safe products for our daily use. This is especially true with something used in the household as frequently as laundry detergent. There is a serious concern about the use of these products now, even for adults. If injuries or deaths are attributed to the use of a specific product, then the entity or person responsible should be held liable for the defect or problem.

Many people erroneously believe that just because something has a label with a warning on it then it means that the company is shielded from liability in the event of accident or injury. This is simply not the case; manufacturers, developers, and suppliers have very specific regulations they must comply with regarding the placement of the warning, size of the warning, and information that must be visible on the warning. Failure to abide by these regulations or failure to identify the possibility of personal injury due to use can result in liability on the company if something goes wrong when a consumer uses the product.

Products Liability Attorneys

If you or anyone you know has been injured or killed due to the use of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other monetary awards depending on the circumstances. Products liability is common in household cleaning supply matters, vehicle accidents, helmet use, kitchen appliances, and a host of other items that we use daily. At Solomon Law Group, our experienced products liability attorneys believe that companies should be held accountable for the products they sell to the general public. No one that is using a product as it was intended to be used should have to suffer life-changing consequences due to the negligence of a company or entity. Contact our Columbia, South Carolina office to learn more about products liability today.

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