The “Tide Pod challenge” is a social media phenomenon that initially started as a joke, inspiring a number of memes to surface about people wanting to eat the vibrantly colored detergent pods. However, an increasing number of people are taking the challenge seriously, including a Utah State student who was hospitalized after ingesting a Tide Pod.
Now, two New York lawmakers, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and state Sen. Brad Hoylman, proposed a bill that urges detergent makers to switch to a less appealing design. The bill proposes that the detergent packets are, “designed in an opaque, uniform color that is not attractive to children and is not easily permeated by a child’s bite.” The bill also indicates that every package of liquid detergent packets should contain a warning label that details the dangers of consuming the product.
“They’re squishy, they smell sweet and they look like gummy bears,” Hoylman said in a statement to Fox News.
“All we have to make sure is that public safety trumps [Procter & Gamble’s] profits,” Simotas added.
According to a report by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, poison control centers handled 86 cases related to Tide Pod consumption between January 1 and January 21, 2018. Children and teenagers taking on the social media challenge are not the only ones attempting to consume detergent. Consumer Reports has reported that dementia patients have also been mistaking the detergent for food.
Tide has acknowledged the issue on their Twitter account @tide, posting warnings and sharing the poison control number.
Our Product is absolutely not to be consumed. Plesae, if you have, drink a glass of water or milk and contact the Poison Control Center(800-222-1222) or a Doctor Immediately.
— Tide (@tide) January 17, 2018
The parent company of Tide, Procter & Gamble, addressed the issue as well in a blog post. “I assure you we’re working with our partners to do what we can to stop this dangerous trend, including ensuring social media networks are removing videos that glorify this harmful behavior,” CEO David Taylor writes. Taylor also urges consumers to do their part as well.
“Let’s all take a moment to talk with the young people in our lives and let them know that their life and health matter more than clicks, views, and likes. Please help them understand that this is no laughing matter. “
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