The ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ is a new and dangerous viral challenge that has children and young adults biting into laundry detergent pods. Teens and young adults all over the United States have been recording these dangerous stunts and uploading them to YouTube.
Several years ago the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sent a warning out to parents about the dangers of the liquid laundry detergent packets. The commission said that the packets are attractive to young children because they are colourful, squishy, and smell good.
This dangerous act was suspected to have originated in 2015 when an article was published about a toddler accidentally ingesting a Tide Pod after mistaking it for candy.
Doctors and other health professionals say ingesting these objects could be life-threatening.
During an interview with Fox59, Dr. Joe Krug described the adverse effects of ingesting these laundry detergent pods.
‘Most of the problem comes from the coating itself. You’ll get burns to the skin, burns to the eyes, [and] more severe burns to the respiratory tract, burns to the esophagus.’
The ingredients used in these pods include ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and polymers which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, drowsiness and nausea, as well as irritation and conjunctivitis if it gets in the eyes.
If the pods or the detergent end up getting into the lungs it could cause respiratory distress and when ingested it can also cause depression.
Marc Pagan, who is 19 years old and was dared to do the challenge said: ‘a lot of people were just saying how stupid I was or how — why would I be willing to do that? No one should be putting anything like that in their mouths, you know?’
Since 2012, there have been ten deaths linked to the ingestion of these pods. Two were from toddlers while the other eight were from seniors suffering from dementia.
P&G, who are the manufacturers of Tide, released a statement saying: ‘nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use our products.’
‘Our laundry packs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes, and they’re used safely in millions of households every day. They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up and away from children. They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke.’