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Tide Pods a Snack? Why Is This a Question?

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Social media challenges and trends on the internet take storm daily; from the gallon milk challenge, the cinnamon challenge, and ice bucket of water challenge, the Tide Pod challenge has risen. Tide Pods are brightly colored packets of laundry detergent and appears to look like a fruity, chewy snack to some teenagers. The challenge consists of a few different strategies, such as biting directly into them, cooking them in frying pans, or chewing them up before spitting out the soap altogether. From the looks of it, the challenge does not have a straight-forward objective, and it is uncertain of how the fad was started.

Last year, per The Seattle Times, College Humor (a popular parody YouTube channel) published a video titled “Don’t Eat Laundry Pods.” It showed a college student “researching the dangers associated with exposure to the packets” as he consumed them and ended up on an ambulance stretcher. It seems that the video resurfaced in late 2017 and early 2018 as the video became more popular and appealing to teens today.

Marc Pagan, 19, informed CBS News about how he was dared to attempt the challenge.

“A lot of people were just saying how stupid I was… why would I be willing to do that? No one should be putting anything like that into their mouths, you know?” Marc is correct, as experts say the challenge is highly dangerous and can cause long-term effects if taken seriously. Jana L. Anderson from the Mayo Clinic warns citizens about the damage this concentrated liquid can do to your body. First, the pod will explode in your mouth and cause irritation, coughing, and gagging. If one manages to swallow the detergent, it will cause burns to the esophagus and stomach, as well as gastrointestinal distress. If one inhales the detergent while swallowing or vomiting, it can eventually cause serious respiratory distress.

In 2018 alone, there have been 37 intentional cases among teenagers, risking their lives for a pretty pod of poison. So, “Technically, yes, you can die if you inhaled or ingest large amounts of the laundry detergent,” Anderson explains. It is more likely that a “small child could die from a single tide pod if they got enough of it in their lungs,” but is not as deadly to teenagers or adults.

Tide made a statement about the challenge: “Our laundry packs are a highly concentrated detergent to clean clothes, and they are used safely in millions of households [daily]. They should only be 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.”

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Tide Pods a Snack? Why Is This a Question?