The latest teen craze may be the most baffling: daring each other to eat Tide Pods and post the videos online. Here’s why, besides the obvious, YouTube’s banning them.
1. Okay, first, you could straight up die from eating a Tide Pod: let’s get this out of the way. Putting your life on the line just to rack up some views on YouTube is incredibly stupid. And yet, teens are still doing it! They probably don’t understand exactly how dangerous the fad is. Laundry detergent is poison.
Dr. Ivan Miller, director of the Emergency Departments at Westchester Medical Center, told Teen Vogue that, “If you chew on the pod, the wrapping dissolves and breaks and sometimes the contents squirts out and it bursts in your mouth. Sometimes it squirts in your eye. When it squirts in your mouth it goes down your throat and goes down your esophagus to the stomach. It can also go down the trachea and to the lungs. The detergent can get on the skin or mucosa (inner lining of mouth).
“It can cause a burn to skin or mucosa, to the eyes, and a really severe burn to the eye due to the acids and alkalis in laundry detergent,” he said. “Alkalis can cause a lot of eye damage. You can also damage the lining of the esophagus or stomach.” It’s more likely to kill a small child than a teenager, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility to die from ingesting the pod. Either way, you could get extremely ill.
2. This all started out as a joke: folks have been eating, or at least talking about eating, Tide Pods since they debuted in 2012. You have to admit that they do look like delicious candy (which is why the jokes started). At the beginning, Tide was mostly worried about Toddlers eating the pods, and even changed the packaging to make it harder for them to open. The Onion even wrote a (satirical, duh) article from a toddler’s perspective in 2015 titled, “So Help Me God, I’m Going To Eat One Of Those Multicolored Detergent Pods”.
3. This is what you’re eating: obviously, Tide Pods don’t taste good. In fact, Tide added a bittering agent to the outer film so kids wouldn’t want to eat them if they stuck them in their mouths. The pods are made of a series of poisonous ingredients: Polyvinyl alcohol, Denatonium benzoate, soap, Alcoholethoxy sulfate, Disodium distyrylbiphenyl, disulfonate, Mannanase,Amylase, Subtilisin, Diethylenetriamine pentaacetate, sodium salt, and Calcium formate.
4. YouTube’s statement on why they banned Tide Pod challenge videos: “YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm. We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies,” YouTube said in a statement. The company considers removing videos when users flag them, and people whose videos are removed risk their entire channel being deleted if they have accrued too many “strikes.”
Facebook has also banned the videos from the site, and Instagram. A company spokesperson told CNNMoney that, “we don’t allow the promotion of self-injury and will remove it when we’re made aware of it.”
5. Tide launched a PSA starring Rob Gronkowski: Procter & Gamble, Tide’s parent company, put out a video starring NFL player Rob Gronkowski, begging kids not to eat the pods. Watch it at the top of this article!
HollywoodLifers, if you or one of your friends ingested a Tide Pod and need help, you can call Poison Control 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222. Stay safe and stop eating laundry detergent, please!