• Katie Wozniak

Tide Pods Are Disappearing from Shelves and Quickly Appearing On the News

Remember when the internet was all about eating cinnamon and stuffing our cheeks with marshmallows? Well, the newest trend has come, but it isn’t as harmless. The Tide Pod challenge started as a joke across the internet, referring to how the common household laundry detergent holds a close resemblance to candy. However, with the beginning of the new year, this challenge was taken to the next level.

In efforts of gaining bragging rights and making this joke a reality, teens started to film themselves taking bites out of the detergent pods. Over the course of just 15 days, there have been 38 reported cases of intentional misuse of the Tide pods according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). This is a drastically increased number from the 56 reported cases from the entire year of 2017.

This suggests that there has been a problem in the past, but not on the magnitude that it is at right now.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo.com

Tide has been warning parents about these colorful pods since 2013, but their message was directed towards small children. However, now social media has been taken over with warnings aimed towards teenagers and young adults taking on the internet challenge. It has also been found, according to Time.com, that elderly patients with dementia or Alzheimer's are at risk as well.

But what is the intense danger associated with the ingestion of these pods? According to Consumer Reports, Tide Pods toxic because they contain ethanol and hydrogen peroxide which can burn the mouth, digestive system and stomach.

There is also a thin casing around the detergent which is designed to dissolve in the washing machine. When ingested, this can melt in your mouth, releasing chemicals in a matter of seconds, and upon entering your bloodstream can be fatal.

Within the past few days, stores such as Walmart and Walgreens have been placing the laundry detergent behind glass cases or plastic boxes. YouTube has been taking action against the dangerous challenge as well by removing all uploaded videos of people doing the Tide Pod Challenge.

Tide has also been taking to Twitter, reminding their followers of the poison control hotline and what measures to take if someone they know ingests the detergent pods. To find out more about the warnings issued due to this trend, check out this article by People.com.

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