Intentional Exposures Among Teens to Single-Load Laundry Packets

The resulting health implications from misuse can be serious. Potential effects include: seizures, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death.

215 Teenagers

Since January 1st, 2018

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) strongly warns individuals about the dangers of using single-load laundry packets other than as intended.

During the past five years, poison control centers have received well over 50,000 calls relating to liquid laundry packet exposures. While unintentional misuse by children five and under accounted for the majority of these calls, a recent trend among teenagers ingesting the packets— and uploading videos to various internet platforms including video-sharing websites, social media, and vlogging platforms— has caused significant concern among poison control centers.

The resulting health implications from misuse can be serious. Potential effects include: seizures, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death.

According to AAPCC data, in 2016 and 2017*, poison control centers handled thirty-nine and fifty-three cases of intentional exposures, respectively, among thirteen to nineteen year olds.

That number has increased to 215 among the same age group in the first three months of 2018.

If you or a loved one misuses a laundry packet or has a question about the risk of exposure to one, immediately contact the national Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text Poison to 797979 to save the number in your phone. Our poison control experts are available 24/7 and free of charge.”

PLEASE NOTE: The term "exposure" means someone has had contact with the substance in some way; for example, ingested, inhaled, absorbed by the skin or eyes, etc. Not all exposures are poisonings or overdoses.

Any media outlet that uses any information contained on this page, data from the AAPCC, interviews, quotes, or press releases must include in their media post of any medium some form of “Call the Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text POISON to 797979 to save the number in your phone.” Please contact Edward Walrod with further questions.

*Numbers for 2017 are subject to change. This is due to the fact the 2017 data set will not be closed until the summer of 2018

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