Internet meme has teens eating laundry detergent pods

Alicia Farmer
January 12, 2018

The potentially life-threatening challenge has featured in YouTube videos showing teens pretending to cook Tide-branded laundry pods on a stove top, before serving them up in a bowl and eating them, USA Today reports.

The video spurred discussions and dares on public forums like Twitter and Reddit with teenagers coming up with novel ideas to ingest detergent pods.

The videos then cut to the kids putting a fork into the pods and biting into them, before a stream of colour and liquid seeps out.

Previously children 5 and younger were considered to be most at risk; the small packets were sometimes mistaken for candy, and poison control centers received reports of more than 10,500 exposures to young children in 2017.

They also noted an additional 14% increase in calls to poison centers concerning exposures to detergent packets for dishwashers.

The figure rose to more than 12,000 in 2015 - the highest in the last five years - according to a graph posted by AAPCC.

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These laundry packs contain highly concentrated detergent which can harm the human body when ingested.

Tide laundry detergent in liquid form. Aleguas said he's seen situations where people who don't know they have underlying medical conditions try a stunt like this and must be rushed to a hospital.

"They can cause chemical burns around the mouth and can cause burns inside the mouth, nausea and vomiting, you can get aspiration, pneumonia, and have breathing problems", she explained. "I can not believe that people are doing this".

Tide issued a statement following news of the highly risky challenge sweeping the internet: "Our laundry packs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes ..."

'They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke'.

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