Blumenthal Commends Efforts to Increase Safety of Liquid Detergent Packets

(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), cosponsor of the Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety (PACS) Act, joined Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) – in commending new standards to reduce the safety hazards associated with liquid detergent packets. The standards are expected to be finalized tomorrow by the American Society for Testing and Materials – a nonprofit multi-stakeholder organization charged with developing safety standards.

“From child-resistant packaging to consistent warning labels, we are glad to see the industry move forward with nearly every policy we outlined in our legislation,” said Blumenthal, Nelson, Markey, Klobuchar, Durbin and Speier. “These are common-sense protections, many of which are in line with standards that have been set in Europe where incident rates have declined.  As these standards are adopted over the next year, we will be monitoring their effectiveness and evaluating whether further action or legislation may be needed.”

Nationally, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reports more than 11,700 children under age the age of 5 were exposed to chemicals in laundry detergent packets in 2014.  A majority of the children experienced adverse reactions, including vomiting, coughing or choking and respiratory distress.

The Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety Act would require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to set mandatory safety standards for easily accessible liquid detergent packets, which expose thousands of children each year to caustic chemicals.  Specifically, the bill would give the CPSC the authority and direction to issue rules requiring safer, child-resistant packaging for liquid detergent packets within eighteen months compelling industry to implement stronger and more effective policies.