House bill aims to protect kids from detergent pods

Lawmakers want to impose stricter standards for how single-serve laundry and dish detergency packs, known as pods, are packaged.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) plans to introduce legislation in the House on Thursday that will force the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue stricter safety standards for pods.

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Her announcement comes less than two weeks after Sens. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDemocrats face growing hurdles in bid to oust DeSantis NASA adviser quits after request to change name of James Webb telescope denied NASA won't rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy MORE (D-Fla.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinInfrastructure bill carves out boosts to first responders, wildland firefighters Democrats face critical 72 hours Bipartisan lawmakers target judges' stock trading with new bill MORE (D-Ill.) said they were introducing identical legislation.

The Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety, or Detergent PACS Act, directs the safety commission to issue a rule requiring safer, child-resistant packaging for liquid detergent packets within 18 months of the bill’s passage.

“Detergent packets are popular, convenient, and dangerous because they deliver powerful chemicals in colorful, bite-sized packages that look like candy,” a news release from Speier’s office said.

From 2012 to 2013, the National Poison Data System received 17,230 calls involving children exposed to chemicals by the packets. Of those calls, 769 required hospitalization for issues including seizures, vomiting blood, fluid in the lungs, dangerously slow heartbeats, respiratory arrest, gastric burn and comas. In Florida, one 7-month old died after eating a laundry pod in 2013.