Take A Guess At How Many People Have Called A Poison Helpline After Eating "Delicious" Tide Pods In 2018

Tide Pod / Tide Pod Memes / Twitter / IFLScience

James Felton 19 Jan 2018, 14:35

Back to the Future depicts 2015 as a time where flying cars and hoverboards exist. Now it's 2018 and we're warning people not to eat detergent because it can literally kill you.

The "tide pods are food" meme has taken off in a big, dangerous way. People, mainly teenagers, are regularly uploading videos of themselves eating the detergent to Youtube under the title "Tide Pod Challenge". Tide and Youtube are desperately struggling to stop people from doing it.

People are even reviewing them on Amazon as if they're food, giving them five stars and calling them "delicious".

They aren't really food. Karla Richardson / Amazon.

"I've been using these for years as a flavor enhancer for my water," another reviewer wrote.

"The only issue is that they have a hard time dissolving in my Yeti cup, so I've started extracting the liquid goo with a needle and then squirting it into my water. A couple shakes and it's all mixed in. The flavor is incredible and curbs my appetite for the entire day! Since I've been drinking these I've lost about 75 pounds. I go through 5 or 6 pods a day though, and it gets a little pricey, but totally worth it."

So far, so amusing.

But surely no-one is really eating these, are they? What's the real scale of the problem?

Well, it turns out, it's much bigger than is ideal. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) has put out a warning, after receiving a high volume of calls since the beginning of 2018.

"During the past five years, poison control centers have received well over 50,000 calls relating to liquid laundry packet exposures," the AAPCC said in a statement.

"While unintentional misuse by children five and under accounted for the majority of these calls, a recent trend among teenagers ingesting the packets – and uploading videos to various internet platforms including video-sharing websites, social media, and vlogging platforms – has caused significant concern among poison control centers.

"According to AAPCC data, in 2016 and 2017, poison control centers handled 39 and 53 cases of intentional exposures, respectively, among 13 to 19-year-olds. In the first 15 days of 2018 alone, centers have already handled 39 such intentional cases among the same age demographic. Ingestion accounted for 91 percent of these reported exposures."

You read that right – 9 out of 10 times calls to a poison helpline for ingesting detergent are from people who are doing it as a joke.

Full Article
Comments

If you liked this story, you'll love these

This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to use our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.