The potentially life-threatening challenge has featured in YouTube videos showing teens pretending to cook Tide-branded laundry pods on a stove top, before serving them up in a bowl and eating them, USA Today reports. Ideas, and even dares about eating the pods followed on Reddit and Twitter.
The videos are supposedly made to be amusing; a satirical response to national, commercialized warnings against ingesting Tide pods, which are jokingly referred to as the "forbidden fruit".
In a statement reported by ABC 10 Local News, a spokesperson from Tide explained that despite the recent increase in social media attention on eating Tide pods, there does not seem to be an increase in individuals being treated for the consequences of this action.
Although most of the videos seem to show the participant spitting out the colorful liquid detergent after the pod bursts, doctors say the liquid does not need to be swallowed to pose a very serious health threat. "In 2012, Poison Centers received over 6,000 Laundry Packet exposure calls related to children five and under".
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"Differences in chemical composition and concentration between laundry detergent packets and other types of detergents may account for the higher toxicity observed", they wrote.
Tide laundry detergent in liquid form. These are people who are going out and actively going to look for them to ingest them. Two children died. The packets can also cause vomiting, throat burns and eye injuries.
Dr. Alfred Aleguas Jr., managing director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa, said that people might be unaware of the fact that they have underlying health issues and after trying out a stunt like this, they might have to be rushed to the hospital. "They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke".