Internet challenges, like the “Cinnamon” and “Ice Bucket” challenges, have been around for years. However, the latest is a little more dangerous than either of those. This new challenge sweeping the nation is the so called “Tide Pod” challenge. This challenge involves eating detergent pods made by the Tide laundry company. These pods contain a high concentration of detergent and other cleaning fluids that can cause poisoning and even death.
Tide pods have been controversial for many years, due to small children mistaking them for candy. For example, the Center for Disease Control reported 10,500 children under the age of 5 were exposed to a Tide product in 2017. Consumption of the pods and other detergents can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and frothing of the mouth. If enough are ingested, it can cause death by asphyxiation. Despite these dangers, teens continue to “eat” them on social media. In January 2018 alone, the AAPCC reported 86 cases of Tide pod poisoning that were directly related to the challenge.
In response to the challenge, Tide has released many statements against eating their products, even making a commercial featuring Rob Gronkowski. Tide is also working with Facebook and Youtube to remove any videos that support the challenge. Despite these efforts, teens are still attempting to ingest the pods, all to get a little popularity.