Tide's parent company, Procter & Gamble says the company doesn't have a good answer to stop teenagers from participating in the 'Tide Pod Challenge' in which teens eat the laundry detergent pods and post the videos online.
In blog post published on Monday, Procter & Gamble CEO David Taylor says that as a parent, he's just as concerned by the 'Tide Pod Challenge' as other parents are, but his company's safety protocols can't force teenagers to be responsible adults.
"Ensuring the safety of the people who use our products is fundamental to everything we do at P&G. However, even the most stringent standards and protocols, labels and warnings can't prevent intentional abuse fueled by poor judgment and the desire for popularity.
As P&G’s CEO, 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, partnering with advocacy and industry groups to help spread the word that this is dangerous behavior not to be copied, and releasing this public service announcement that is designed to reach teens and young adults – in addition to other steps we’ve taken."
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) says eating detergent packets can be fatal, or lead to seizures, pulmonary enema, respiratory arrest, or coma.
Tide, which is owned by Proctor & Gamble, has teamed up with social media networks to try and discourage teesn from uploading videos that 'glorify' eating Tide Pods. The company has released a public service announcement with NFL star Rob Gronkowski that warns against eating the colorful detergent packs.
The AAPCC says there have been at least 86 cases of people eating the liquid detergent packs in the first three weeks of 2018 alone. Doctors say those who have been exposed to the stuff should call Poison Control immediately, and then swish with water and spit, then drink several cups of water to flush your system and help symptoms subside.
"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," Taylor pleaded in his blog post. "Please help them [teenagers] understand that this is no laughing matter."
If you or someone you know has ingested a Tide Pod packet, or if you have any questions, you should contact the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222.