Teens are playing a dangerous game these days. In the latest social media fad, teenagers are ridiculously and perilously eating laundry detergent for the “Tide Pod Challenge.” Due to the big safety risks involved in the newest teens’ craze, a government watchdog is stepping in to issue a stern warning about it.
Detergents are made up of highly toxic ingredients in the pods that include ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and polymers. Manufacturers have always expressed warnings about toddlers mistakenly ingesting them, but strangely teens are deliberately popping them on their mouths for the purpose of posting videos online.
Teenagers have been posting videos showing them chewing and gagging on the small, colorful detergent pods and daring others to follow suit. Some social media users show themselves cooking the pods before eating them.
Some of those who are participating know the dangers involved with eating the pods. They even know it’s “stupid” to join the latest online challenge among teens yet they still do it, anyway.
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The challenge started out as a joke in an article in the satirical news organization The Orion. Last year, College Humor posted a satirical video of a man eating the pods because “they look inviting and delicious.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is getting involved to issue stern warnings about the deadly risk involved in “eating” detergent. Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle says: “This is what started out as a joke on the internet and now it’s just gone too far.”
The pods appear bright and colorful to children that they can look like candy. As proof of how dangerous consuming detergent could be, at least 10 deaths have been linked to ingesting such pods. Two of those recorded deaths involved toddlers, while eight were senior citizens with dementia.
Procter & Gamble, the maker of Tide products also issued their warning on the dangers of teens purposely eating their products just to participate in an online challenge. The company said: “It should not be played with. Even if meant as a joke. Safety is no laughing matter.”
The company also advised that anyone who has eaten or swallowed a detergent whether deliberately or by mistake should take the first aid means of drinking to immediately or go to the nearest hospital.