The Clean Truth: Tide Pods Are Poison

Joshua Perry, News Editor

High schoolers are all aware of how quickly memes and trends can spring up like daisies on the vast, (sometimes) intellectually fertile prairie that is the internet. Sometimes they’re clever. Sometimes they’re empowering. Sometimes they’re good.

And sometimes they’re Tide Pods.

From the makers of the dry cinnamon challenge and the salt and ice challenge comes a brand new, even more asinine viral sensation: biting into Tide Pods.

I congratulate its progenitor on his or her lack of foresight: you’ve done it. You’ve started what may be the worst, most dangerous popular fad on the internet.

It may seem harmless at first glance—I mean, you’re supposed to spit out the detergent after it gushes out, right? What could go wrong? Well, you could die. There’s that.

The United State Consumer Product and Safety Commission issued a warning in 2013, explaining how moisture and saliva make pods break down very quickly, exposing their “highly concentrated toxic contents.” In other words you’re playing with fire. In your mouth.

And, according to Lindsey Bever of The Washington Post, the effects of those toxins are very real and very easily sufferable.

“Children and teens can aspirate on the liquid by inhaling it into their lungs,” Bever said, “or they can become ill by ingesting it—experiencing a change in blood pressure and heart rate, losing consciousness or having seizures.”

Clearly, there’s nothing harmless about it: Tide Pods are deadly. And yet, people continue to endanger themselves by using them irresponsibly.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 140 cases of intentional laundry packet exposure by teenagers have been reported since 2018 began. That’s compared to  53 cases in all of 2017.

This needs to be stopped at the source. People need to stop making the Tide Pod memes, videos and jokes that have flooded through the internet in recent weeks. It’s not a joke. People are hurting themselves, and the internet is egging them on.

The best thing you can do as a regular member of the internet is ignore anything involved with this trend. Don’t share it, like it or even water time looking at it. Don’t give it the attention it doesn’t deserve and maybe this ridiculous phase will be forgotten.

And the next time another moronic dare pops up on the internet, challenge yourself not to care about it.