Monday, July 20, 2015
Water soluble film gets a bitter taste as P&G brings measures to reduce risk of child detergent poisoning to North American market
Procter & Gamble is aiming to reduce the number of incidences of child detergent poisoning by adding a bitter taste to the outside layer of its laundry packets. The move comes following the introduction in June of European Commission rules which require "an adverse agent" that "elicits oral repulsive behavior in case of accidental oral exposure" to be added to laundry detergents.
Although the United States has no such rules in place for the time being, P&G has announced that it will be bringing those European standards to North America this autumn. Infants can be attracted to single-dose packets of detergent, which can lead to adverse effects upon ingestion.
Many industry watchers are aware of the emphatic shift towards unit-dose packaging for detergents. Since the first such products were launched in Europe by FMCG companies such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble, consumers have embraced detergents delivered in water-soluble film packs, which now account for around 10 per cent of overall sales in United States, and up to 30 per cent in some European markets.
Industry analyts expect that the water soluble polyvinyl alcohol film (PVOH, sometimes also referred to as PVA) market is on track to be worth around $404.8 Million in next five years, growing at an average annual rate of 5.2 per cent.
Unit-dose detergents have already captured nearly 12 per cent of the North American fabric care detergent market, estimated to be worth around $7 billion. Industry projections indicate that this share may rise to as much as 18 per cent in the near future.
Stringent environment protection regulations in the European Union and North America continue to be key drivers for growth of water soluble film demand. The increasing awareness among consumers for the use of bio-degradable materials will potentially boost the use of water soluble film even further.
Detergent packaging is one of the largest applications of water soluble film market and is expected to continue domination in the near future. North America has the largest demand for detergent packaging and accounted for a share of around 32% of the total market. Europe is the second-largest market for detergent packaging.
PVOH refers to a water-soluble synthetic polymer with highly advantageous film-forming, adhesive properties and emulsifying properties. Today, the key markets for water soluble film can be found in Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom and United States, with the latter two accounting for most of the demand.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
Via Washington Post
America's small children are facing an unprecedented new threat. It's prompted thousands of calls to poison control centers, dire warnings from experts, congressional grandstanding and calls for new legislation.
I'm talking, of course, about laundry detergent pods.
A report in the fall found that the single-use laundry detergent packets, a relatively new invention, were sending kids to the hospital at a rate of roughly one per day. Taken in isolation, the numbers sound scary. There were more than 11,000 calls to poison control centers in 2013 for laundry detergent exposure from these pods, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers National Poison Data System. Seven people have died after ingesting laundry detergent from a pod, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation.
Quoted in the New York Times last year, Marshal J. Casavant of the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, characterized the laundry pod threat as "a very different order of magnitude than other hazards."
Actually no, it isn't.
Eleven thousand poison control center calls is a big number. On the other hand, in that same year there were also 11,000 calls related to pens and ink, 15,000 for air fresheners, 19,000 for deodorant, 20,000 for hand sanitizers and 40,000 for bleach. In the total universe of Things That Are Dangerous To Kids, calls about laundry pods rank somewhere between glue and soap.
Of course, some of these products are more common in homes than others. Nearly every household has deodorant, but fewer probably have air fresheners, and even fewer use laundry pods. But it's nonetheless clear that laundry pods do not constitute an unprecedented new threat to America's children.
Moreover, reports of laundry pod exposure rarely result in a serious medical emergency. Of the 11,000 laundry pod calls in 2013, 54 resulted in a major injury and two resulted in death — a rate of 0.51 percent. That's less than the major injury rate for acetaminophen (0.94 percent) and diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl, 0.74 percent), and comparable to the rates for rubbing alcohol (0.43) and laundry detergent as a whole (0.34).
It is true that that major injury rate as a percent of all exposures for laundry pods is higher than for other types of detergent or household cleaner — but again, we're talking about differences in the realm of fractions of a percent. And overall, accidental poisoning is not really that much of a danger to kids — especially compared with the leading causes of death among children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 29 deaths due to accidental poisoning among children ages 1 to 4 in 2013. Firearms killed more than twice as many toddlers, other types of assault killed 10 times as many, and the No. 1 cause of death for small children was car accidents, with 454 fatalities.
Every death of a child is an unspeakable tragedy for the families involved. But too much of our public discourse about child safety is predicated on the fiction that we can make the world 100 percent safe for kids, if only we legislate a little harder or circumscribe our kids' worlds a little more tightly. You see this play out everywhere from the unfounded panic about marijuana-infused Halloween candy in Colorado to the repeated law enforcement interventions in the lives of Maryland's Meitiv family, who subscribe to the "free-range" parenting philosophy.
With laundry pods, as with every other household product, there will be some marginal level of risk involved. But the rules for dealing with laundry detergent, of any kind, shouldn't be different from the rules for any other product: Keep out of reach of children, especially small ones. And understand that the overall risk of injury or something terrible happening is vanishingly small.