Tide Pod Challenge

Vanessa Parsons, Staff Writer

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A new trend circulating the web has caught many teens and young children in a dangerous situation. The new trend called the “Tide Pod Challenge” where young adolescent kids try to consume laundry detergent pods for a “fun” joke. Little do people know, this challenge is dangerously fatal and not as funny as people think. Tide pods are meant to be used to clean dirty clothes, not to be consumed by anyone or anything. Kids all over are posting viral videos of them consuming the pods leading to extensive coughing and choking. Recently, the Tide Company put out a statement about the challenge stating ;“Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes, and they’re used safely in millions of households every day, They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children. They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke.” Despite Tides warnings, teens don’t care. During 2015, the amount of poison control calls reached over 14,349. The amount of calls has dropped to 12,299 in the latest data collected in 2017; but  2017 was when this trend took place. It’s good that the amount has dropped, but 70% of the calls were made due to teens and kids purposely consuming Tide pods. In response to the Tide pod challenge, the company has created a new design for the packaging that is supposed to cut down the amount of exposure to the harmful chemicals. Even with a new lock on the packaging, teens still get into them. Due to the challenge, companies like Snickers are taking advantage of the trend by producing Tide pod look a likes, but by using their chocolate ingredients to appeal to the youth. In the past there has been a record of eight adults getting dementia by consuming these detergent pods. The moral of the challenge is detergent pods are specifically designed for laundry and not for the consumption of anyone. Tide pods are composed of many chemical compounds that can hurt the body. Different companies have different chemicals in their products; some have bleach, some have softeners, but most the most common contain alkaline detergent. During the first few moments of ingesting the detergent, the detergent still has a big effect on the human body. BuzzFeed news spoke to Jana L. Anderson about the side effects of consuming tide pods; she stated,“The pods are in plastic wrapping, which puts them under some pressure, so when you chew on them they will explode in the mouth and coat the mucous membranes inside.” The alkaline pH of the highly concentrated liquid can cause immediate irritation in the mouth and vomiting, Anderson says. When the pod ruptures upon the first bite, it can also get in the eyes and cause burning or abrasions.” This is just the beginning of the side effects, and at this point the detergent is making its way through your body. When the detergent is ingested into the stomach it slowly starts to cause a burning sensation which makes your body automatically revolt and makes you throw it up. Normally if you just swallow the detergent it will pass through with the consequences of pain, but in some circumstances if the detergent is inhaled into your lunge it gets serious. Anderson stated,”Anything like detergent that’s very reactive, or contains surfactants, is going to be very irritating for the lungs. If someone gets to this point, they might need to be put on a ventilator.” People think that eating detergent is a funny joke, but eating detergent has never been a food option guaranteeing that it should never be close to a person’s mouth.

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Tide Pod Challenge