|The companies placing liquid laundry detergent capsules on the market take the safety of consumers very seriously. Following reports on incidents of accidental exposure with these products in particular in young children, the European detergents industry has taken a number of actions. Part of these will soon be legally binding through EU legislation as of June 2015.
Liquid laundry detergent capsules are relatively new product forms gradually introduced in the European market. 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.
As early as at the end of 2012, the detergents industry has been working on developing a comprehensive set of safety measures for this product category. The detergents manufacturers voluntarily committed to undertake packaging modifications to limit visibility and access by young children and 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 already resulted in a decrease in incidents in several countries in Europe. The European regulation adopted in October will further help to appropriately manage risks with the products.
In addition to the legislative measures on packaging modification, we will continue voluntary actions such as preventive education campaigns, because we are convinced that they are essential. Parents and child care givers must be provided with useful tips and made aware to always keep liquid laundry detergent capsules away from children. To this end the detergents industry has developed a dedicated pan-EU digital consumer education campaign: see 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 European Child Safety Alliance. Furthermore, detergents manufacturers will continue to feature a standard safety message on any of their brand advertisements on liquid laundry detergent capsules, e.g. TV, billboards, printed ads, etc.
In order to confirm that the most appropriate measures are taken to address the safety concern, the detergents 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 exposures in young children and are working in close collaboration with authorities and poison control centres to ensure safeguards are in place.
Finally, we would like to reassure 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.
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