Teenagers have started eating laundry detergent in the “Tide Pod Challenge.”
“I cannot believe I’m about to do what I’m gonna do,” YouTuber Marc Pagan said before sinking his teeth into a Tide Pod. “I’m just bored, so I’m doing something right now that is completely stupid.”
“I know I shouldn’t do it and I don’t want to do it, but I’m doing it,” the 19-year-old said. He ate the pod on a dare, and immediately had to wash out his mouth.
Detergent pods include various toxic ingredients, including ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and polymers. These toxins clean clothes effectively, but provide the opposite of nutritional value. Indeed, ten deaths have been linked to the ingestion of these kinds of pods. Two toddlers died this way, and eight seniors with dementia perished after consuming detergent, CBS News reported.
Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, expressed worry about the trend. “This is what started out as a joke on the internet and now it’s just gone too far,” she said.
A previous scare in 2015 — when concerns focused on toddlers accidentally eating the pods — inspired calls from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) for new regulations on the pods.
In this case, people know it’s stupid and dangerous, but they’re doing it anyway. No regulation will prevent an idiot from harming himself. In various videos, teens expressed their knowledge of the health risks involved before undertaking the activity.
The police in Lawrence, Kansas, had a perfect response. “How is it 2018 and we have to warn people to not eat laundry detergent? OK, here goes…. Kids, don’t eat laundry detergent. Also, don’t smoke meth,” the department tweeted.
An enterprising group of teens invented a couple ingenious ways to appear to eat Tide Pods without actually consuming harmful chemicals.
A man named Josh Taube used the ever-handy Photoshop to “eat” a Tide Pod.
His friend Jordan Dedene went a step further, branding a bag of potato chips a “Tide Pod,” and breaking into the — surprisingly salty — “detergent.”
A note to teenagers: For the sake of your own sanity, your parents’ health, and doctors everywhere, feel free to use Photoshop and potato chips and lay off the Tide. Otherwise, some bureaucrat in Washington will come up with yet another stupid and worthless regulation.