Laundry Pod Challenge Among Teens Alarms Parents, Health Experts

Doctors and parents are concerned about a social media joke about eating Tide Pods has become reality. KTNV

Doctors and parents are concerned about a social media joke about eating Tide Pods has become reality. KTNV

The challenge involves people popping the small laundry detergent packs and posting videos of themselves chewing and gagging on the oozing product online.

The rising popularity of Tide pods brought more online stupidity, with the bursting texture of the pods an apparent focus of attention for daredevils. Tide pods in particular have especially high concentrations of the chemicals found in traditional laundry products and are therefore even more toxic.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that more than 10,000 children five and younger were exposed to a single-load laundry packet in 2017.

"A government watchdog is expressing concern over the unsafe misuse of a laundry detergent", CBS News reported on 12 January.

The latest social media fad could be fatal, doctors warn.

Besides YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter also have seen an increase in posts on the eating Tide Pods meme.

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According to a story about the challenge on, the idea for the challenge may date back to 2015 and an article on satire website wrote from the prospective of a toddler determined to eat a detergent pod.

A Tide spokesperson told CBS News the pods were not meant to "be played with". It also added a bitter coating to the film to deter anyone from sampling them.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported six adults suffering from cognitive impairment, along with two children, have died as a result of ingesting the pods.

In recent years, the company even made the pod containers more childproof after reports of children mistaking them for candy and eating them unknowingly.

'They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children.

Biting down, the pod oozes detergent, and the YouTuber immediately attempts to spit it out. Swallowing it often causes mild stomach upset, if there are any symptoms at all, but poison center experts say the new highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent packets seem to be different. "Our focus is simply on providing the facts".

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