Keep Laundry Detergent Capsules Away from Children

BEUC NEWS - 16.03.2015

Green, blue, red: liquid laundry detergent capsules are very colorful and often come in shiny packages. There is a risk that children may confuse these capsules with sweets. Should they bite on the detergent capsules they can dissolve in child’s mouth and thereby threaten their health.

Today, the OECD launched a global awareness raising campaign to run from 16-23 March, 2015 to inform consumers, particularly parents, of the need to always keep laundry detergent capsules away from young children. The campaign has received support from a wide range of countries across the globe. In Europe, the campaign is led by the European Commission’s Justice and Consumers Directorate General.






In order to better protect young children in the EU, the European Commission has already adopted legal requirements for detergent manufacturers to improve the safety of the capsules. These will apply as of 1 June, 2015 and include:

  • Non-transparent boxing (to avoid children seeing the colourful capsules);
  • A warning to keep the box out of the reach of children;
  • The box must to be fitted with a closure which impedes opening by children;
  • Capsules must be fitted with a bitter flavour agent so that children do not keep it in their mouth;
  • Must be insoluble for 6 seconds (allowing them to be spat out in case of accidental oral exposure);
  • Resist a compressive strength of 300 newtons (in order to resist a child’s bite).

Detergent manufacturers are also running an awareness rising campaign “Keep caps from kids”.

BEUC very much welcomes these measures as we need combined efforts to keep children safe from hazardous household chemicals.