Health Canada Warns Parents and Caregivers about the Dangers of Miniature Detergent Packs

July 12, 2012
For immediate release
 
The issue
 
Health Canada is aware of incidents of children ingesting miniature laundry detergent packs. The lightweight, colourful single use detergent plastic packets dissolve in water. These brightly coloured packets with their squishy texture are attractive to children.
 
Laundry detergents are powerful cleaning products that may contain ingredients which can lead to harmful health effects upon ingestion. Children who swallow the detergent packs may experience a variety of serious symptoms including severe abdominal pain, vomiting, or breathing difficulty.
 
Who is affected
 
Consumers who use miniature laundry detergent packs.
 
What purchasers should do:
  • Due to the hazards they pose to young children, laundry detergent packs should be stored in a location where they cannot be found or swallowed. Children should not play with any consumer chemical products.
  • All cleaning products, including laundry detergent packs, should be stored in a locked cabinet or drawer and out of the reach of children. A child safety latch is an appropriate alternative.
  • Keep the number of your local poison control centre number near the phone.
  • In the event that your child has ingested any consumer chemical product, contact your regional poison control centre. If your province or territory does not have a poison control centre, dial 911.
What Health Canada is doing:
 
Health Canada is working with the Canadian Association of Poison Control Centres to gather information on incidents that may have been reported to provincial poison control centres. The products involved in the reported incidents are the subject of on-going review by Health Canada to determine compliance with applicable regulations.
 
Background:
 
In Canada, consumer chemicals (such as household cleaners or automotive products) fall under the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations, 2001 (CCCR, 2001) issued under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and must meet the requirements of the Regulations.  Consumer chemical products which do not meet these regulatory requirements cannot be imported into, advertised or sold in Canada. Should it be determined that additional action is required to enhance the safety of these products, Health Canada will advise Canadians.
 
For more information:
 
Consumers and health professionals wanting more information about this advisory from Health Canada can contact the Public Enquiries Line at 613-957-2991, or toll free at 1-866-225-0709.
 
Media enquiries related to this Advisory should be directed to Health Canada Media Relations at 613-957-2983.
 
How to report problems with consumer products:
 
Health Canada would like to remind Canadians to report any health or safety incidents related to the use of a consumer product or cosmetic. An easy-to-use incident report form is now available on the Department's website.
 
E-mail: CPSR-RSPC@hc-sc.gc.ca
Mail: Incident Report - Consumer Product Safety Directorate
Health Canada
123 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON, Canada
, K1A 0K9

-30-

Media Enquiries:
Health Canada
613-957-2983

Public Enquiries:
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709