Assembly Bill 4646 is sponsored by A/Ms Simotas, Simon, Magnarelli, McDknough, Mosley and Gottfried. A4646 was introduced on February 3rd, 2017.  It was read once and referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection on 2/3/17, and again on 1/3/18, but otherwise hasn’t moved.

A4646 has to do with the child proofing of liquid detergent packets and has a Senate companion, S100.  The senate bill was referred to consumer protection on 1/4/17 and again on 1/3/18.

Currently, the ingestion of laundry detergent by young children under the age of 6 is a major problem.  A recent study found a 17 percent increase in young children poisoned by laundry detergent over a one year period.  An average of one child every hour was reported to have been injured in some way by laundry pods between 2012 and 2013.  Types of harm recorded include coma, respiratory arrest, pulmonary edema, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

Concerns about cost are difficult to gauge at present, and the efficacy of the legislation is unknown as there is little precedent currently.

Federal legislation aimed at the same purpose appears to have gone nowhere.

Traditional counterarguments are that labeling requirements are cumbersome to implement.  But the labeling doesn’t seem onerous in this case and addresses a serious problem.

We feel the good outweighs the bad on this bill and urge YES.

In the absence of current federal legislation which would make this bill redundant, it seems reasonable to take steps to promote consumer awareness and ensure the safety of young children.

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