Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday is Wash Day

I suggest you wait until the kids are fed first:

"Safety measures for packaging of laundry pods are approved" by Catherine Saint Louis New York Times  September 16, 2015

NEW YORK — Every year, increasing numbers of children eat or inhale the contents of brightly colored packets of laundry detergent that they mistake for candy or teething toys.

One wonders what goes through the corporate marketers mind when they design these things. For some reason the wrappers always need to be bright and colorful, standing out from the rest, blah, blahs. 

A parallel to it all are the cluster bombs dropped by USrael over the years that look like food aid packets. Kids come along them, boom. 

What's up with that? What sort of devils devise these things?

On Tuesday, the first safety standard for packaging and labeling so-called laundry pods was approved by ASTM International, an organization that helps establish product standards.

The recommendations were negotiated over the past year by a group of industry representatives, consumer and medical groups, and officials from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Richard Sedlak, executive vice president at the American Cleaning Institute, an industry group, said the recommendations would greatly reduce the frequency of childhood poisonings by laundry pods.

But adherence to the new packaging standard is not mandatory, and it was not immediately clear when manufacturers would begin to redesign their products. 

(Blog editor throws hands up! This is nothing then!)

“I don’t know if it will stop children from being poisoned by these products,” said Elliot F. Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Still, “the creation of a standard that has these elements is better than the lack of one, no doubt about that.”

Feels like a surrender being declared a victory there, but maybe I've been eating too many pods (gives a whole new meaning to check the basement, 'eh?).


The new standard calls for manufacturers to add a bitter taste to the soluble film encasing the detergent, to deter children who put a pod in their mouths, and to make the film take longer to dissolve once it’s wet. 

It's the old gag candy bit. 

But the cost?

The recommendations also include options for making containers harder to open for curious toddlers, such as closures that require dexterity or strength. The standards group also urged manufacturers to use opaque containers (some companies already do) so children can’t see the pods, with warning labels placed on the front and back.

Dr. Frederick M. Henretig, an emergency medicine doctor and senior toxicologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said the idea of giving the pods a bitter taste was “ludicrous” because “kids bite into these things almost instantly as they pop them into their mouths.” But he endorsed the use of packages with a truly child-resistant closure.

“The game is won in keeping it out of the kid’s mouth,” he said. “Once it goes in, it’s game over.”

Maybe "game" is the wrong analogy here?

The new packaging standard does not tell manufacturers to reformulate products to make them less toxic to children, and does not suggest that manufacturers tone down the colorful appearance of the pods.

While the new packaging standard is voluntary, the Consumer Product Safety Commission may pursue recalls of products that don’t meet it. If the number of poisonings doesn’t decline after manufacturers put the changes in place, said Kaye, the group convened by ASTM will then discuss whether detergents should be made less toxic.

How many kids have to suffer -- if not die -- before there is a big hullabaloo?


Washer loaded and ready to go; looks like chores is(sic) the theme of the day.