Memes, jokes, and Tide-themed food continues to make rounds on social media as a bizarre internet trend referred to as the Tide Pod Challenge continues to gain traction.
Earlier in the week, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) released an additional alert warning people not to eat Tide Pods (or any other laundry detergent pod for that matter). According to the press release warning consumers of the dangers of eating Tide Pods, the number of teenagers participating in the Tide Pod Challenge had more than doubled between January 16 and January 22.
On January 16, there were 39 reported incidents of teenagers consuming Tide Pods. As of January 22, the number had risen to 86. More importantly, this is just the number of cases that have been reported. It is very likely there are more instances that have not been reported.
According to the AAPCC, there were just 39 cases of teenagers eating the Tide Pods intentionally in the year 2016 and 53 cases in the year 2017. Not even a month into the year 2018, and the number of teenagers intentionally consuming Tide Pods as a result of the Tide Pod Challenge has nearly exceeded the years 2016 and 2017 combined.
YouTube, Facebook, and even Amazon have committed to taking down comments and videos regarding individuals eating Tide Pods.
According to Motherboard, Amazon noted they would continue to remove any questions or reviews mentioning the Tide Pod Challenge or encouraging the consumption of Tide Pods. The retail giant noted that customer safety was extremely important to them and they would never allow customer reviews to encourage someone to physically harm themselves.
— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) January 29, 2018
Despite social media and websites like Amazon attempting to fight back against the Tide Pod Challenge, a quick search reveals both reviews and frequently asked questions encouraging individuals to consume Tide Pods are still lingering on the Internet. As of January 28, 2017, the question’s section on Amazon listings for Tide Pods still contains questions about eating the laundry soap pods.
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
The biggest concern experts have with the Tide Pod Challenge is that consuming detergent pods is even more dangerous than drinking laundry soap as the detergent in the pods is highly concentrated. When laundry soap is in liquid form it is diluted with water.
YouTube and Facebook are trying to stop the spread of the Tide Pod Challenge, a bizarre and dangerous online craze where teenagers eat laundry detergent packets on camera https://t.co/BU3kaJxfDY pic.twitter.com/GSJwPxFAXc
— CNN (@CNN) January 22, 2018
Medical experts everywhere urge individuals not to participate in the Tide Pod Challenge as consuming these detergent pods is extremely dangerous.