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Teens daring each other to eat Tide Pods for social media attention

It may sound silly, but it's far from it. A viral trend called 'The Tide Pod Challenge' has young people taking some serious risks.

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 6:38 PM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 4:45 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- It may sound silly, but it's far from it. A viral trend called 'The Tide Pod Challenge' has young people taking some serious risks.

People, especially teens, are biting into detergent-filled capsules used for washing clothes. It started as a joke, but now it is a challenge. People daring each other to participate online.

Milton Sandifer, a student at Indiana State University, says people will do anything for likes on social media outlets. 

"I just think people come up with challenges just so they can compete against each other," Sandifer said. "Or just so they can become social media famous."

But, this social media trend can cause damage to your health. Jay Schauben is a director at a poison control center.

"That {tide pods} has the potential to do a significant amount of irritation and corrosion to the mouth, the throat, and esophagus," Schauben said. 

Schauben says the colorful, squishy pods contain highly-concentrated and toxic detergent that will cause serious harm if you eat one.

"What's called a surfactant layer in the lungs keeps the lungs open and functioning," Schauben said. "And, if this product gets inhaled into the lungs, it's going to collapse."

Tide tweeted "What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else."

Something that started out funny, has serious consequences.  

Poison control is open 24/7. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call 800-222-1222.

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