A new social media trend where teens are seen eating laundry detergent pods is worrying doctors.
The trend which started as a social media joke where memes feature photos showing laundry pods as pizza toppings or breakfast cereal, reported ABC15. The “challenge” then evolved into someone biting or consuming the detergent pods then spitting it out.
forget pineapple, in 2018 we putting tide pods on pizza pic.twitter.com/CM1PIOn64I
— memes (@memeproviderz) December 31, 2017
Medical experts are warning against the trend as the consequences of consuming the detergent packets are dire.
Banner Health toxicologist Dr. Frank LoVecchio told ABC15 that the intentional consumption of the packets is concerning. He added that the chemical in the pods can burn your mouth, lips, and esophagus if ingested. But there is also another concern.
everyone wants to eat a tide pod so bad… i’m the only one who will actually do it pic.twitter.com/pbtpOJHuOc
— Hailey McEuin (@haileymceu) January 3, 2018
“The membrane around it, when it dissolves, can cause central nervous system depression,” LoVecchio told the news station. When it dissolves it can cause you to become sleepy or fatigued.
In early 2017, College Humor, a comedic content company, posted a video about eating laundry pods, reported News4jax. At the end of the video, it shows a guy being sent to the hospital after eating a bowl of laundry pods.
Tide x Totino’s S/S 2018 pic.twitter.com/MUKMykPsrw
— original pushbroom (@rebranded) December 29, 2017
A representative for Procter and Gamble, maker of Tide, told ABC15 in a statement that the laundry pods are only meant to clean clothes.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
“We have seen no indication of an increase of cases seeking medical treatment among infants and teenagers associated with the recent uptick in social media conversation or in consumer calls,” the representative added.