Death By Detergent
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Death By Detergent

Media Dares Gone Wrong; The Tide Pod Challenge

Death By Detergent

It can never be known when exactly the internet became a platform for social dares and challenges of courage. We’ve all heard of the cinnamon challenge, or the eraser challenge, where someone out in cyberspace decides to test the world’s stupidity because apparently, we are all very, very bored. Some of these “challenges” have been used for good, like the ice-bucket challenge, which raised money for charity. Now we are faced with a new level of dare, consuming laundry detergent.

Tide-Pods are miniature, one-inch capsules, used to wash clothing. A sensible invention, right? Well, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning to parents about the liquid packets. Colorful, with an interesting feel, and a pleasant smell, they can easily attract children, and the Commission made it clear that the packets were “highly concentrated and toxic.” Little did they know that the packaging would appeal to teens and young adults as well. Last year, U.S Poison control estimated reports of more than 10,500 children younger than 5 years old, and 220 teens who were exposed to the Tide-Pod’s harms. 25% of the teens exposed were from intentional consumption, according to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers. So far, the count has already increased to 37 (it’s only been a month, come on 2018). Half of these cases were intentional. Pace University students were surprised by these statistics and freshman Kailee Heller, stated that “It just shows how the media can influence the youth and make them think of these ideas as normal, even though it’s stupid.” And stupid it is.

Exposure to the detergent could lead to hospitalization due to vomiting, breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, and seizures. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there have been eight fatalities amongst children 5 and younger since 2012. The University Health Center has a clear stance on the challenge, “While Pace doesn’t frequent injuries caused by dares online, we can never know what happens outside the health center. It’s obviously dangerous, so it’s surprising to me how social media can lessen your concern about health,” stated employee, Kevin Cherry. While the challenge has been expanding throughout social media, corporations are doing their best to discourage the reckless activity.

YouTube is flagging videos of teens taking on the Tide-Pod, but because of the sheer amount, it’s not hard to find them. In fact, you can see families taking on the challenge together, what a great Sunday activity; eating detergent. Stores across the nation are locking up the capsules like overpriced razors, in attempts to protect local youth. Tide released a very clear statement, “What should Tide Pods be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else,” the company said on social media. “Eating a Tide Pod is a BAD IDEA, and we asked our friend @robgronkowski to help explain.” They visualized their message with a sponsorship with New England Patriots team member, Rob Gronkowski, hoping to convince the internet that eating their product is not an intention they approve of.

So however bored you may be, or however much a Tide Pod appeals to you, don’t eat it. We know day to day foods can get tiresome over-time, but that shouldn’t mean resorting to laundry detergent.

To report exposure to laundry detergent pods, call the national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text POISON to 797979 to save the number on your phone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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