Every generation has made their share of questionable decisions, but what teens and other young people are doing nowadays is seriously risky, not to mention incredibly stupid.
In recent months, videos circulating on social media have shown kids participating in a disturbing fad — biting down on laundry-detergent packets (namely Tide Pods) or letting them dissolve in their mouths. While the pods have for some time presented a hazard to disabled adults and small children who mistake their bright colors for candy, those who take on the “Tide Pods challenge” are purposefully putting themselves in danger for meaningless internet points.
In 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned parents about what could happen if their kids eat liquid laundry packets or capsules, stating, “children who have ingested detergent from the packets have required medical attention and hospitalization for loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing.”
Along with other synthetic chemicals, the pods contain bleaching agents and surfactants, which remove dirt, waste, and stains from clothes. Bleach can burn your digestive tracks, leading to vomiting and even a hole developing in your esophagus. Surfactants cause irritation of the mucous membrane, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and foam in the mouth, which could lead to inhaling toxic materials into your lungs.
In some cases, ingestion can cause depression of the central nervous system, leading to drowsiness or coma. Even just breathing in the substances can cause respiratory distress and damage. Oh yeah, and it’s killed a number of children.
Learn more about the health risks associated with the Tide Pod challenge below.
Here’s what Tide has to say about the whole situation.
In an effort to discourage the craze, YouTube has begun removing videos of the challenge from its platform. Facebook and Instagram have followed suit. For reference, this is the only way you should use laundry detergent packets.
Best tide pods challenge completion. pic.twitter.com/dGUwWEgVuy
— Astartes Brofist (@gukutsushi) January 19, 2018
(via IFL Science)