BEND, Ore. - A dangerous and potentially deadly activity mainly among teens is going viral, and it’s happening right here in Central Oregon as well.
First it was cinnamon, and now, videos posted on social media show people biting into laundry pods.
From when Tide Pods first hit the market until now, the look of the detergent packs has been changed to keep kids away. Still, poison control centers received more than 10,000 reports of exposure to children 5 and younger in 2017.
Now, people seemingly old enough to know better are putting themselves at serious risk.
“Gosh, it’s so dangerous,” Dr. Terri Mucha, owner and practitioner of Family Choice Urgent Care, said Thursday. “There are several known carcinogens in those pods, such as sodium hydroxide and propylene glycol. They not only can cause damage to your liver and kidneys, but they can actually burn. They can burn your esophagus. They can burn your mouth. They can burn the lining of your lungs.”
A viewer tip to NewsChannel 21 stated this dangerous challenge could be happening to students at a Bend school. District officials confirmed the claim, but called it “an isolated incident.”
Tide’s parent company Proctor and Gamble issued this statement:
“Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they’re used safely in millions of households every day. 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 meant as a joke.”
Mucha said the bottom line is that the short challenge isn’t worth a lifetime of health problems. She said you can do damage even without even swallowing the chemicals.
“Just contact. In fact, they recommend if you were to even bite into it or make any contact with your eyes that you immediately flush the area and call a poison control hotline,” Mucha said.
Poison emergency hotline number: 1 (800) 222-1222.