The ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ Got Hundreds Of Teens Poisoned

Image Source: YOUTUBE (Now Removed)

Here at WTF Facts, we’ve talked a lot about the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’, and for good reason. For those who are unaware, the challenge involves eating laundry detergent. Young people are eating the colorful pods because—essentially—they’re being challenged to do so.

The end goal of the people who participate in the “challenge” seems to be internet stardom.
We do not want our readers eating detergent. Let me make that crystal clear: neither I, nor the company for which I write, want you to consume poison. It is a horrible idea.

Do understand that Tide pods are designed to clean garments; they are not—in any way, shape, or form—food. I don’t care if they look like tasty sweets with a fruity filling; they’re laundry detergent and are not meant to be consumed.

Prior to the challenge becoming “a thing”, it was only small children and adults with dementia ending up needing medical treatment due to the consumption of the pods. Times have changed. In the first couple of weeks of January 2018, there were 39 reported cases of young people putting the pods in their mouth. Compare that to 2017; there were only 53 cases throughout the entire year.

Things are clearly getting out of hand, as 86 cases of poisoning via detergent were reported in the third week of January.

There is an organization called the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and the CEO of said organization actually made a statement regarding the challenge. The CEO, Stephen Kaminstki, noted that, despite warnings, the ingestion of the laundry pods has become increasingly popular. He stressed that ingesting them is dangerous, as doing so can lead to respiratory arrest, a coma, seizures, pulmonary edema, and even death.

YouTube—a company that was willing to publish Logan Paul videos, thereby making him rich and famous—is now classy enough to remove videos of people trying to capitalize on the trend.

Kids: if YouTube is telling you something is a bad idea, please listen.

Tide actually had to put out an official statement, and in that statement it told people not to eat the things that they clearly never imagined people would eat. As they put it, the Tide pods are “highly concentrated” and “should not be played with”, even if doing so is meant to be a joke.

The CEO of the company that owns Tide also made a statement. There’s a lot of legalese in what he said, so I won’t write it out here, but he does make the very good point that all of the warnings in the world won’t stop people from doing stupid things for the sake of popularity. I’m sort of paraphrasing, but that’s the gist.

Just kidding. Do not do that. #ElArroyoATX #ElArroyoSign


A post shared by El Arroyo (@elarroyo_atx) on

I did like the end of his message, which encouraged people to talk to the young people in their lives and remind them that their health matters far more than being viewed and liked on social media. You wouldn’t think that you’d need to talk to your child or nephew about the dangers associated with eating detergent, but that’s just the world we live in.

The CEO is right: this is no “laughing matter”.

That said, social media comments regarding the challenge can be kind of hilarious and quite clever. One Twitter user named Rachel pointed out that there is a definite correlation between people who eat the detergent pods and people who have never done laundry for themselves. As she rightfully pointed out, the things are expensive.

Did you know that there is a pizza place in Brooklyn, New York that created a dish made to resemble Tide pods? You do now. The “pods” in this case are pizza rolls stuffed with cheese and pepperoni, and therefore edible and intended for human consumption. Dyed cheese makes them look like the very Tide pods young people seem so keen on putting in their mouths.

The pizza place claims that they created the things because they’re concerned about the challenge. In case you’re curious and just happen to be in Brooklyn while hungry for pizza, the establishment is called “Vinnie’s Pizzeria”.
It is a great idea to put pizza in your mouth—pizza is delicious and the primary source of nutrition for college kids everywhere. Putting detergent in your mouth is not a great idea. The stuff is poison. You could end up with burns, on a ventilator, or dead.



Written by Kevin Barrett

Kevin Barrett is an award-winning reporter currently residing in one of the many suburbs of Philadelphia. In addition to working in journalism, he was worked in higher education and logistics. He is single, but does have a distracting little dog who keeps him from achieving maximum productivity.

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