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Laundry eye dangers increase

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(NBC) -

The number of eye injuries linked to liquid laundry packets has skyrocketed in recent years.

It's not difficult for an adult to burst one of these liquid laundry packets. But young children have also popped them, getting the detergent in their eyes, which has lead to an increasing number of serious chemical burns. 

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at reports of such eye injuries from 2012 to 2015. 

"The number of eye injuries among small children aged 3 to 4 due to these laundry detergent pods increased significantly, from almost non, to almost 500 per year," said Dr. Sterling Haring, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

These single use laundry packets have higher concentrations of chemicals and cleaning agents, and can lead to vision loss if they get into the eyes. 

Representing the cleaning products industry, the American Cleaning Institute Released a statement reading in part: "Manufacturers of liquid laundry detergent packets are very committed to reducing the number of incidents with these products, which are used safely by millions of consumers every day." 

This study looked at injuries that occurred before many manufacturers adopted voluntary safety standards in 2015, including opaque packaging and improved warning labels. 

If a child's eye is exposed to the laundry packet, doctors say to immediately get the eye under cool running water and leave it there for at least 20 minutes. 

"The longer you can run water on that eye, the more likely you are to save that child's vision," said Dr. Sterling Haring. 

Experts also recommended storing those packets up, away and out of sight. 

Almost 85 percent of these injuries happened in the home. 

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