We all have weird cravings sometimes.
But, if yours include eating laundry detergent, whether for pleasure or as participation in the “Tide Pod Challenge”, you may be in danger.
What Is The Tide Pod Challenge?
The “tide pod challenge” spawned from a viral meme featuring the words “tide pods are food” that challenged people to upload videos of themselves eating tide pod laundry detergent to Youtube with the title, “tide pod challenge.”
Consumption of laundry detergent is dangerous, and can even be fatal.
In response to the challenge, Tide mobilized quickly with their own video to educate people on the dangers of consuming detergent, and YouTube threatened to remove any videos of the Tide Pod Challenge.
“YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm,” the Internet video hosting platform wrote in a statement to The Guardian.
“We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies.”
But…a quick Internet search reveals that this issue is much bigger than the Tide Pod Challenge as various online forums feature reviews on the product as a food, including one 5-star rating on Amazon calling the product “delicious.”
“I’ve been using these for years as a flavor enhancer for my water,” another reviewer wrote.
“The only issue is that they have a hard time dissolving in my Yeti cup, so I’ve started extracting the liquid goo with a needle and then squirting it into my water. A couple shakes and it’s all mixed in. The flavor is incredible and curbs my appetite for the entire day! Since I’ve been drinking these I’ve lost about 75 pounds. I go through 5 or 6 pods a day though, and it gets a little pricey, but totally worth it.”
While the above is somewhat amusing, it is also incredibly dangerous and has prompted the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) to issue a safety warning after receiving a high volume of calls since the beginning of 2018.
“During the past five years, poison control centers have received well over 50,000 calls relating to liquid laundry packet exposures,” the AAPCC said in a statement.
“While unintentional misuse by children five and under accounted for the majority of these calls, a recent trend among teenagers ingesting the packets – and uploading videos to various internet platforms including video-sharing websites, social media, and vlogging platforms – has caused significant concern among poison control centers.”
According to AAPCC data, in 2016 and 2017, poison control centers handled 39 and 53 cases of intentional exposures, respectively, among 13 to 19-year-olds. In the first 15 days of 2018 alone, centers have already handled 39 such intentional cases among the same age demographic. Ingestion accounted for 91 percent of these reported exposures.
Laundry detergent is not food people. As challenging as it may be, do your part to keep it in the washing machine and out of your mouth.
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