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The Dangers of Tide Pods

Victoria Cara prepares to eat a Tide Pod as Diana Humble looks horrified in the background. Photo by Maggie Kretzmann

By Maggie Kretzmann

Since the dawn of man, humans have achieved many feats, from inventing things such as the wheel and electricity, to developing further intellectually, physically and spiritually. However, with all of the genius events humans have completed, there are also a fair share of occurrences that have happened in the past, some that would call it downright stupid.

There have been many challenges throughout the last few years, including the “cinnamon challenge”, the “gallon challenge”, the “banana & Sprite challenge” and more. New this year is the infamous “Tide Pod Challenge”, where people have recorded themselves taking a Tide Pod, putting it on their mouths and eating them. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), children would be drawn to eat the detergent pods due to the colors and scent-however they never thought that adults would even consider eating Tide Pods.

Multiple videos have been posted onto social media sites such as YouTube and FaceBook which show kids’ reactions to the Tide Pods after they eat them. In order to prevent further injuries from happening YouTube has begun to remove videos that feature the challenge, stating that “the flagged videos violate their policies and that encourage activities that are dangerous and could risk potential danger.”

If one does happen to bite down on a capsule, they could experience breathing difficulties, vomiting, and more. People are able to choke on the detergent liquid if they inhale it into their lungs, or become seriously ill if they digest it and can result in seizures, losing consciousness or a change in blood pressure. Some stores have began locking up Tide Pods and monitoring how many containers have been purchased by the same people.

In 2017, 220 teenagers were hospitalized due to being exposed to Tide Pods, and 25 percent of those cases happened on purpose. With 2018 just starting theĀ American Association of Poison Control Centers said that “there have been 37 reported cases among teens, half of them intentional”. Eight deaths have happened among kids younger than 5 since 2012. “If they do ingest the chemicals inside the Tide Pods, I’d just call 9-1-1, and they will send you to Poison Control in Iowa City,” said Mary Mathiasen, the nurse on campus, “Don’t take the time to google it yourself, just call. That’s what they’re there for.”