THE Tide Pod challenge has become the latest and most dangerous Internet challenge to emerge in 2018.
Doctors have urged teenagers not to take part in the dangerous craze that was inspired by memes. What exactly are Tide Pods and how dangerous are they to your health?
What are Tide Pods and how dangerous are they?
Tide Pods are a brand of detergent that is best known for the colourful liquids inside each pod.
This particular brand is has swept the Internet because their colourful liquids make the capsules look like a sweets.
They definitely should not be eaten – worried doctors, parents and even manufacturers are pleading with impressionable youngsters to stop eating the laundry liquid.
The substances inside these pods are highly poisonous and pose serious health risks if they are ingested.
Even a small amount of the highly-concentrated liquid detergent can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and breathing difficulties.
At their worst, they can even lead to death.
Manufacturer Tide has launched a page on its website dedicated to the safe handling of its products and warns parents to keep them out of reach of children.
The company advises consumers to drink a glass of milk or water if the product is swallowed and immediately call for medical help.
In a statement, the company said: “Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes … They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if meant as a joke.”
What happens when you eat detergent pods?
Ingesting these pods can cause nausea, vomiting, coughing, choking, breathing trouble and stomach pain.
Soap poisoning can also affect blood pressure and cause the heart rate to drop rapidly.
This could lead to the failure of vital organs and the heart collapsing.
Bursting the outer membrane of the pods can also lead to mouth, skin and eye irritation as well as painful rashes and burns.
Where did the Tide Pod Challenge come from?
The Onion, an American satirical news website, submitted a story in 2015 about how the blue and red detergent pods looked like sweets.
Two years later in March 2017, US humour website College Humor uploaded a YouTube video called “Don’t Eat The Laundry Pods” – at the moment this video has over 3 million views has hundreds of comments over the past few weeks alone.
Fast forward to December 9th where @mineifiwildout tweeted about eating Tide Pods in 2018 as part of a new trend.
On December 11th a Twitter user called @littlestwayne tweeted an image of Oprah Winfrey eating something with the line: “Me eating tide laundry detergent pods.”
The intense popularity of these latest tweets in December has contributed to a new meme format about eating Tide Pods which has taken over the Internet.
The extremely dangerous challenge itself was born out of this meme.