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New York Pushes for Safer Laundry Detergent Pods

Child-resistant packaging and warning labels would be mandatory.

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Laundry detergent pods have quietly become a real household danger. They're toxic to children and pets alike, to the extent that even the ASPCA recently warned against them. The detergent industry is working to make them safer, but the changes can't seem to come quick enough.

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Now, that one New York state assemblywoman is trying to push the process forward—in her own state, anyway. Aravella Simotas recently submitted a new bill to the New York State Assembly that, if passed, would require a change in the packaging and manufacture of detergent pods if brands want to continue selling them in the state.

According to the bill, laundry pods must not resemble "any edible product or item commonly placed in a child's mouth." They must also come in child-resistant packaging and have a clear warning label printed on the packaging. The bill even goes so far as to provide the exact wording that should be used.

In the bill's justification section, it notes that there were "11,862 reported cases of children ingesting or inhaling the contents of laundry pods" just last year, so perhaps it's no wonder that legislative bodies are starting to take notice.

While banning the sale of unsafe pods in one state could seem like a waste of time, previous state-level bans have in fact led to industry-wide change. Need a case in point? In 2010, 16 states banned phosphates in dishwasher detergent, leading manufacturers to abandon the chemicals entirely. If New York passes this bill, and enough other states follow its lead, the same could happen with detergent pods.

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