Raising awareness of the dangers of laundry capsules


Suffolk Trading Standards is joining an international campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of liquid laundry detergent capsules.

The campaign focuses on liquid laundry detergent capsules and raising awareness to prevent toddlers and babies worldwide injuring themselves on the chemicals contained in them.

Over the past five years there have been 2,170 incidents in the UK relating to liquid laundry detergent capsules, according to the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS). Around the world, this number is around 16,000 each year.

The product and the hazards

Laundry detergent liquid capsules/packets contain concentrated detergent for single use. The content, protected by a membrane, is released once it comes in contact with the moisture during a washing.

Yet, laundry detergent liquid capsules/packets are small, tactile and often colourful, which makes them attractive to children, especially toddlers, who are tempted to put them in the mouth or play with them. A laundry liquid capsule can burst in a child’s hand, especially when it is wet or moist. It can also rapidly dissolve with moisture and may burst in a child’s mouth in as little as ten seconds, which can cause severe injuries.

The main consequences of exposure can be:

  • In the case of ingestion: severe vomiting, coughing, respiratory disorders, nausea, drowsiness and rash.
  • In the case of contact with the eyes: conjunctivitis, pain in the eye, eye irritation.
  • In the case of contact with the skin: rash, skin irritation, chemical burn.

Safety messages for parents and carers


  • Store these products up high, out of reach and out of sight of children;
  • If stored in lower accessible cabinets/cupboards, these should be secured with child resistant locks;
  • Keep the capsules/packets in their original container, fully closed between uses.


  • Carefully read the labels on the packaging;
  • Do not use the capsules/packets while children are close by and do not allow or invite children to manipulate them;
  • Never pierce or break laundry capsules/packets;
  • Do not leave the capsules/packets outside their container;
  • Close the container lid properly after every use.


In case of a child’s accidental exposure:

  • If the capsule/packet is put in the mouth, rinse the child’s mouth and face thoroughly;
  • Do not induce vomiting;
  • If a child has capsule liquid close to eyes or on hands, rinse carefully with plenty of water
  • Call a doctor, or a Poison Control Centre or go to the medical emergency department.

Infographic: Kids Don’t See The Difference

Laundry Safe Poster

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

One Response to Raising awareness of the dangers of laundry capsules

  1. Pingback: Infographic: Kids Don’t See The Difference | Suffolktradingstandards's Blog

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