What started as an online joke about laundry detergent pods looking edible has suddenly become a health concern.
Kids and teenagers have appeared on the internet biting into detergent pods as part of a new and alarming social media trend.
Online users have joked about how “tasty” the pods look, often calling them “forbidden fruit.”
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But biting and ingesting the laundry pods can result in a life-threatening situation.
Swallowing even a small amount of the highly-concentrated detergent found in pods can cause vomiting and diarrhea, USA Today reported. In some cases, the detergent could get into the lungs and cause breathing difficulties.
Consumer Reports also pointed out lethal risk for adults with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, poison control centers received reports of more than 10,500 exposures to highly concentrated pods of laundry detergent by children 5 and younger in 2017.
They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children.
Tide statement on the laundry detergent pacs
Tide’s parent company, Procter and Gamble, reiterated that laundry pods are meant only to clean clothes.
“Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes, and they're used safely in millions of households every day,” the statement read. “They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children.
“They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke.”
Locally, neither Community Regional Medical Center nor Saint Agnes Medical Center have had any reports of patients being admitted for swallowing detergent pods.