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Measures to ensure safe use of liquid laundry detergent capsules

The detergent industry has taken a number of actions to ensure the safe use of liquid laundry detergent capsules, following reports of incidents of accidental exposure with these products, in particular in young children. Some of these measures will soon be legally binding through EU legislation from June 2015.

Liquid laundry detergent capsules are a relatively new product form. They help consumers use just the right amount of detergent for their washing needs. Whilst they are safe when used and stored as instructed on the product package, it is important to store them in a safe place before and after use, and always keep them out of reach of children.

Industry taking effective action

Since as early as the end of 2012, the detergents industry has been working on developing a comprehensive set of safety measures for this product category. Manufacturers voluntarily committed to modify packaging to limit visibility and access by young children, and to add prominent labelling to point consumers to the need for safe storage and handling of the products, and the need to always keep them away from children. The voluntary programme has already resulted in a decrease in incidents in several countries in Europe.

In fact, since the introduction of the product stewardship programme, reports of incidents in the UK have decreased by 25%. With further steps being taken, we would expect to see this trend continue in a positive direction. However the role of parents should not be underestimated in ensuring products are used and stored safely to reduce incidents among infants.

UKCPI is working with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and is providing information to families across the UK to help families keep cleaning products out of reach of children.

‘Keep caps from kids’ communication campaign

In addition to the legislative measures on packaging, we will continue voluntary actions such as preventative education campaigns, because we are convinced that they are essential. Parents and child care providers must be provided with useful tips and made aware of the need to always keep liquid laundry detergent capsules away from children. To this end, the detergent industry has developed a dedicated digital consumer education campaign which can be found at www.keepcapsfromkids.eu.

The campaign is supported by ministries and poison control centres in several EU countries, as well as non-governmental organisations including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) and the European Child Safety Alliance.

Furthermore, detergent manufacturers will continue to feature a standard safety message on their brand advertisements on liquid laundry detergent capsules, such as on TV, billboards and printed ads.

Understanding incidents fully

In order to confirm that the most appropriate measures are taken to address safety concerns, the detergent industry has started a six-month accidentology study with poison control centres in five European countries. We are fully committed to achieving the right measures to reduce incidences of accidental exposure in young children and are working in close collaboration with the authorities and poison control centres to ensure safeguards are in place.

Finally, we would like to offer reassurance that other non-laundry liquid detergent capsules have not given rise to any safety concern. However, as a precautionary measure, detergents manufacturers have committed to develop and implement safety measures for these product categories too.

For more information:
Please contact Philip Malpass, Director General of UKCPI on 07710 000962.

Annex
on-pack safe use information:

Patch for boxes:


Patch for boxes

Patch for doy bags:


Keep caps from kids banners:

Keep caps from kids banner

Myth Busters

Did you know the facts behind this common myth?

Myth: Traditional or ‘natural’ products are a good alternative to cleaning with chemicals

Fact: Even vinegar is just a collection of chemical substances diluted in water. It is these chemical components, like the acetic acid in vinegar, the sodium bicarbonate in baking soda and the citric acid in lemons that make them work. Modern cleaning products often combine the same things with other ingredients to make them work better.

UKCPI cleansmart guide

A handwashing and cleanliness programme for Infant Groups.

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