You may be using some for your dishwasher: the “all-in-one” capsules with a gel texture, which resemble those you can find for laundry. Brightly colored, they catch the eye of young children, who can put them in their mouths. ANSES lists cases of exposure to these products which took place between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2023.
Easy to use, gel pods for the dishwasher, like those sold for laundry, are touted for quick and easy use. The product is packaged in a water-soluble film which dissolves on contact with water. So simply slide one into the compartment intended for products, before starting the wash cycle.
More dangerous capsules for children
While they are more practical, these pods are also dangerous for children. ANSES, the national agency for food, environmental and occupational health safety, points out the fact that if the pods for laundry are “subject to specific European regulations since 2015″ because of a “toxicity of their components higher than those of conventional detergents and several alerts on accidents occurring in young children”, this is not the case for dishwashers. To try to improve regulations, ANSES therefore reports the number of accidents recorded with these devices.
787 cases of exposure in less than 5 years
“In total, the Poison Control Centers provided advice and guidance for the medical treatment of 787 cases of exposure between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2023.” reports Anses. “We have observed an increase in cases since 2018“with the children of”under six years old which represent 79.6% of cases“.
The Agency reports exposure mainly via the oral route, but also ocular exposure, by splashing the product into the eyes. Skin burns may also occur in the event of prolonged contact of the product with the skin.
What to do to avoid any risk?
These products therefore represent a danger for children, in particular, even if accidents can also occur in adults. In all cases, it is essential to:
- Handle the pods with care, with dry hands and do not crush them;
- Take it and put it immediately in the washing compartment, so as not to put it down and forget it within the reach of a child, for example;
- Store the box up high, out of reach of children.
In the event of accidental ingestion or ocular (or other) exposure to this type of product, you must immediately call 15, and above all, do not make the child vomit. However, you can clean his mouth with a washcloth or rinse the eye (or eyes) with lukewarm water. In the event of skin exposure, the skin must be rinsed and then moisturized, particularly in the event of redness.