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

Starting date:
July 12, 2012
Posting date:
August 20, 2013
Type of communication:
Advisory
Subcategory:
Household Items, Affects children, pregnant or breast feeding women
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Product Safety
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-15028

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 you 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.
  • Call a Poison Control Centre or your health care provider right away. You can find phone numbers for the Poison Control Centre nearest you at the front of your local telephone book or by searching Poison Control Centre + (your province or territory) on the Internet.
  • Read the label and follow instructions before every use.

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 requirements.

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.

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
269 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1A 0K9

Media enquiries

Health Canada
613-957-2983

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613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709