Because some people apparently don’t read the warning labels on the back of their product, Procter & Gamble has had to ask people to stop participating in the Tide Pod Challenge. But what is it exactly?
Internet challenges are nothing new – people have been planking and eating spoonfuls of cinnamon for ages now. However, the newest internet trend currently out there has people actually eating laundry detergent. Yes, this is the Tide Pod Challenge.
The challenge is just as dangerous and daft as it sounds. Apparently a person or two thought that these small capsules of concentrated laundry soap resembles children’s fruit snack Gushers, which when bitten into releases a sweet filling. And as is the case with any internet fad, videos started popping up across social media feeds and YouTube of people attempting to eat the pods.
The challenge has of course taken all sorts of turns, with some people using the detergent as a topping on pizza or dunking it directly into their morning bowl of cereal. One rather intelligent lad decided he would take the challenge to new heights and actually vape one of the pods. No need to even watch his video, you can guess exactly how it turned out.
While this new challenge may just seem stupid on the surface, it’s actually quite dangerous for the health. "So you'll get burns to the skin, burns to the eye, a lot of problems that are more severe burns to the respiratory tract, burns to the oesophagus", said Dr. Joe Krug of St. Vincent’s Health. “There's nothing you can do once you ingested the issue or the substance so it's more of supporting whatever symptoms they have afterwards and then hopefully educating them about trying to do more intelligent things in the future”.
There have already been many reports of young people being admitted to hospitals due to the repercussions of eating one of these products not meant for human consumption. Procter & Gamble has released a statement in regards to the trend: “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.”
In addition to their efforts, Google has put their foot down on the matter, barring any video of consumption of a Tide Pod from the platform. If this trend is like any other one, it will be over before we know it. However, the damage done to the bodies of participants will unfortunately last for life.