Aaron Kim Hacienda Heights 10th Grade
Over the past years, there has been a dangerous misuse of laundry detergent all around the country. Thanks to the so-called “Tide Pod Challenge”, numerous teenagers have been popping laundry detergent tide pods into their mouth and posting it all over social media. Due to the power of social media like Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter, this trend has gained plenty of attention and popularity.
This coated capsule of laundry detergent resembles a gummy candy and is produced from the detergent company Tide. There are two ways to ingest these tide-pods that most teenagers have been doing: inhaling the pod through the lungs or directly ingesting it.
While it started off as a silly challenge for teens, this trend has proved just how dangerous it really can be. Elizabeth Narins from Cosmopolitan explains, “If the gel gets stuck in your esophagus before dissolving, you may sustain burns therein. Although it’s highly unlikely that detergent will perforate the esophagus, which could result in death, if you consume a large volume of concentrated detergent - i.e., several pods - you could develop an ulcer, with bleeding, bloody vomit, and blood loss in the digestive tract.”
“Swallowing even a small amount of the highly-concentrated detergent found in pods can cause diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, some of the detergent could even find its way into the lungs and cause breathing difficulties.”, wrote USA Today.
After seeing how dangerous this challenge really was, social media programs like Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook have been taking down videos of people participating in the Tide Pod Challenge. It has become such a popular trend that company Tide even made a commercial featuring NFL star, Rob Gronkowski to discourage people who were ingesting these tide pods. In addition, company Tide has offered safety instructions just for people who are exposed or have ingested their tide pods.
“While no deaths have been reported from the challenge, the American Association of Poison Control Centers says it has received 39 calls in regards to these laundry packets so far in the first few weeks of 2018. That’s the same number they received in all of 2016.”, wrote Lindsay Murray from Good Housekeeping.
There may have been no deaths reported from teenagers participating in the challenge, however there were at least 10 deaths reported from senior citizens and children.
According to CBS News, the brightness and color of the pods have caused young kids to mistaken them as candy. In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commision otherwise known as the CPSC has discovered that elderly citizens with dementia were also confused by the product, leading to them ingesting the pods.
There are a few ways to lower the chance and prevent the ingestion of these pods for young kids and the elderly. Researchers have recommended to not buy the colorful pods and stick with the basic laundry detergent. Another way is to hide these tide pods by placing them in a different shelf or some place hard to reach. Letting children know and educating them on how dangerous those tide pods can be is another way to prevent ingestion as well.
<Aaron Kim Hacienda Heights 10th Grade