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Cassidy Randall's picture

Since discovering a known cancer-causing chemical hiding out in Tide Free & Gentle, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) and Healthy Child Healthy World have been mobilizing moms across the country to call on the company to remove 1,4-dioxane. More than 76,000 people have contacted the company asking them to strip the nasty chemical from a detergent they market as a “healthier choice” for children’s laundry.

In April, WVE and more than 20 health and nurses associations sent a letter to Procter & Gamble, makers of Tide, demanding that the company take action.

Almost two months later, we’ve finally received Procter & Gamble’s response to our letter, with claims that the levels of 1,4-dioxane in Tide are perfectly safe. They go on to say that they “hope this is reassuring” to us.  And they enclosed a complimentary package of Tide Pods.

Wow. Okay, first thing first. There are no “safe levels” of a cancer-causing chemical, especially for children. Period. Second, the company sent us Tide Pods?! The product that’s poisoning children across the country?!

In case you haven’t heard, Procter & Gamble recently came out with Tide Pods, little plastic packets of detergents marketed as a way to make your life as a busy mom easier. Tide Pods are cute little balls filled with liquid detergent and decorated on top with little swirls of red stain remover and blue brightener that come in a clear jar.

Actually, Tide Pods look a lot like candy. Especially to an unsuspecting child.

Several news stories have surfaced in past weeks about children who have been confusing Tide Pods with pieces of candy and eating the plastic-covered balls of detergent. Poison Control Centers have reported more than 250 cases of poisoning in just the few months since Tide Pods hit the shelves, and symptoms indicate that the concentrated Tide Pods are even more dangerous than regular detergent. Of course, since Tide doesn’t have to disclose what ingredients are actually used in the pods, there is no way for parents to know exactly what chemicals their child ingested.

So, back to Procter & Gamble’s response to 76,000 concerned consumers and 20+ well-known health organizations. Instead of pledging to remove a cancer-causing chemical from Tide Free & Gentle, the company completely ignored our concerns and sends us another suspect Tide product—Tide Pods! And that’s meant to assuage our fears of slowly poisoning our children with toxic chemicals in supposedly innocuous household products.

In the wake of these recent stories, Procter & Gamble has committed to child-proofing the jar the Pods come in. Great. But doesn’t it make more sense to child-proof the actual product?

Both Tide Pods and Tide Free & Gentle (and every other product that hits the shelves, for that matter) should be free of toxic chemicals like 1,4-dioxane that penetrate our laundry, escape our drains into our water, and, most ominously, make their way into our bodies to wreak havoc on our health.

As a self-styled “responsible company,” Procter & Gamble should know better than to respond to its customers’ concerns by throwing more toxic products at us. It’s time the company listened to thousands of moms across the country and removed 1,4-dioxane from Tide Free & Gentle.

So, no, P&G.  We most certainly are not “reassured.”  We will not be reassured until we know that every P&G product on the market is free of cancer-causing chemicals like 1,4-dioxane.

And all of you moms out there - you have some serious power to wield.  Women make more than 85% of consumer decisions, and we don’t make them lightly when our children’s health is at stake.

So use some of that power today: tell Procter & Gamble to remove 1,4-dioxane from Tide Free & Gentle, and take your powerful dollars elsewhere.

Oh, and it might be worth mentioning that you’re not interested in receiving a complimentary sample of Tides Pods.

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