Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Doctors warn against eating Tide Pods in latest social media challenge

Doctors warn against eating Tide Pods in latest social media challenge

A series of videos posted online shows teenagers putting the brightly colored laundry detergent pods in their mouths or cooking them and then eating them.The origins of the fad are unclear but some are tracing it back to a 2015 parody article by The Onion and later stories about flavored detergent pods.

Procter & Gamble Co. has changed packaging and added a bitter taste to discourage anyone from eating a laundry pod.

The social media photos show laundry pods being used as toppings on pizza and put in a bowl and topped with bleach for breakfast.

The trend started out as a joke, as the laundry pods look nearly like candy due to their colors.

Recently, the public's inexplicable lust for the toxic cleaning supply has reached new levels, and doctors are now warning parents that the trend has gone from harmless fun to extremely risky.

The first reported death linked to detergent packs was in 2013 and involved a less festively designed All brand unit-dose product eaten by a child staying with his mother at battered women's shelter.

Health risks posed by detergent packets were brought into the limelight in 2012 when the American Association of Poison Control Centers warned against keeping laundry pods within the reach of children aged five years or younger. P&G, led by Tide, has more than an 80 percent share of the business, according to Bernstein Research. Swallowing even a small amount of the highly-concentrated detergent found in pods (which can happen if people bite it and spit contents out), can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

The Tide Pod Challenge is not only the latest senseless trend that is making the rounds on the internet, but it is also very unsafe.

Marc Pagan, 19, told CBS News he consumed a pod on a dare but knew the detergent was not meant to be eaten.

Memes have erupted all over social media.

P&G's PSA telling parents how to keep kids from eating Tide Pods has drawn a more modest 1.3 million YouTube viewers.

Read the product safety information provided on the package.

'They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children. "Our focus is simply on providing the facts".

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