Teens consuming laundry detergent pods in viral ‘challenge’

Laundry detergent makers introduced miniature packets in recent months such as this one photographed Thursday, May 24, 2012, in Houston. But doctors across the country say children are confusing the tiny, brightly colored packets with candy and swallowing them. Nearly 250 cases have been reported to poison control centers. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

(ABC News)–A new online challenge that involves teens putting Tide laundry-detergent pods in their mouths is raising concerns among experts.

“Teens trying to be funny are now putting themselves in danger by ingesting this dangerous substance,” Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, told ABC News.

Already in 2018 there has been a steep spike in the number of cases of teens misusing laundry pods. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) said approximately 40 cases have been reported so far, “of which around half were intentionally ingested.”

Laundry-detergent packets commonly known as “pods” have been flagged before as a safety issue for young children. The small, colorful pods can be mistaken for candy by children.

In 2017, the AAPCC said there were reports of more than 10,000 exposures to highly-concentrated packets of laundry detergent by children ages 5 and under.

Children who consume pods can quickly become very sick and lose consciousness, according to Dr. Alfred Aleguas, managing director of the Florida Poison Information Center.

Consuming the pods can also be lethal.

“Currently we are aware of about 10 deaths since laundry pods came out into the market many years ago,” said Buerkle.

Procter and Gamble, maker of Tide Pods, told ABC News in a statement that the pods “should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is.”

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of people who use our products,” the statement read. “They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if meant as a joke.”

For any type of exposure, question, or if you need help, call the local poison center at 1-800-222-1222, or text Poison to 797979.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s