* P&G to add double latch to Tide Pods containers
* Move comes after poison concerns
* Single-dose laundry detergent relatively new to U.S.
By Jessica Wohl
May 25 After at least one child was hospitalized
for swallowing its prettily packaged detergent, Procter & Gamble
Co said on Friday it will make Tide Pods more difficult
A double latch will be put on the lid of Tide Pods tubs and
should be in markets in the next couple of weeks, P&G spokesman
Paul Fox said on Friday.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC)
issued a warning last week that people should keep highly
concentrated, single-dose packs of detergent high up and out of
the reach of children.
According to the AAPCC, some young children who swallowed
the small packets required hospitalization, while others got the
detergent in their eyes.
"Laundry packs, like any cleaning product, must be kept out
of the reach of children," P&G's Fox said.
The AAPCC said that poison control centers have been
receiving more calls about children exposed to single-dose
laundry detergent packets.
As of Thursday night, 317 cases have been reported to U.S.
poison centers, AAPCC spokeswoman Loreeta Canton said. That is
just a small fraction of total number of calls poison centers
receive. In 2009, for example, U.S. poison centers took more
than 4.2 million calls, or one every eight seconds.
In one example, it said that a 15-month-old, who bit into a
pack and swallowed a mouthful, vomited profusely, was brought to
a hospital and put on a ventilator for airway protection.
P&G is aware of one incident involving Tide Pods in which a
child needed medical treatment, Fox said.
Large packages of Tide Pods are clear containers,
reminiscent of fish bowls, with orange lids. Tide Pods also come
in resealable bags, which P&G will review as well.
The back of the Tide Pods packaging states, in all capital
letters, "Keep out of reach of children. Do not ingest. May
irritate eyes," in English, French and Spanish.
BEST SELLER IN GROWING U.S. CATEGORY
Tide Pods, a single-dose blue, orange and white capsule, is
the best-selling, single-dose laundry detergent in the United
States. The product, introduced this year, has about a 60
percent share of the new and growing unit-dose detergent
Other single-dose detergent brands include all mighty pacs,
from Sun Products Corp, Arm & Hammer Power Paks from Church &
Dwight Co Inc, and Purex UltraPacks from Henkel AG & Co
Henkel spokeswoman Cindy Demers said the company learned of
a few incidents of misuse of its product, which also carries a
warning label urging people to keep the detergent out of reach
of small children. "This is a new form of laundry product, and
we will continue to join other manufacturers to safeguard and
educate consumers on the correct storage and use of these
products in the home," she said.
P&G's decision to change the packaging of Tide Pods comes
after the product's debut was delayed, first because demand from
retailers was so strong, and then because the company could not
ramp up production at a plant quickly enough to meet demand.
P&G Chairman and Chief Executive Bob McDonald said earlier
this year that Tide Pods would be the company's biggest
innovation of 2012. It took P&G eight years of research, with 75
technical staff working on the project full-time, to come up
with Tide Pods. More than 6,000 consumers were involved in
testing what the company has called Tide's biggest innovation
since Liquid Tide's 1984 launch.
Single-dose laundry detergent has been sold in Europe for
years. Single-dose dishwasher detergents have also been sold in
many markets, including the United States, for years.