Poison Control Centers Warn Against Dangerous 'Laundry Pod Challenge'
The latest online challenge to go viral – called the laundry pod challenge – has the American Association of Poison Control Centers issuing a dire warning. In this dangerous fad, teens are biting into single-load laundry detergent packets and posting the videos online.
Poison control centers in the United States reported more than 50,000 calls relating to liquid laundry packet exposures in the past 5 years, most involving children under 5. However, in 2017 and the first couple weeks of 2018, there have been 39 and 53 reported cases of intentional exposures, respectively, involving adolescents between the ages of 13 and 19. The teens are ingesting the packets and uploading the videos to internet platforms like video-sharing websites and social media and vlogging platforms.
A number of platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and others have announced videos featuring this challenge have been and will continue to be removed/taken down.
Health implications from misuse of single-use laundry detergent packets can be serious and even fatal. Known effects include eye injuries, seizures, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and death. If you suspect misuse of these products, call 9-1-1 or poison control at 1-800-222-1222.