Doctors, schools warn of ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ dangers

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new challenge is hitting the internet with what users are calling the ‘forbidden fruit.”

It has parents on edge as it could do severe damage to someone through the use of laundry pods.

Viral trends are usually all fun and games.

From the cinnamon challenge to the ice bucket challenge, this one is going to shock you.

The “Tide Pod Challenge” is where teens are taking videos of themselves eating laundry detergent pods for likes and shares on social media.

This challenge is not like the others as severe damage to the body.

“The laundry pods are very caustic they have the ability to burn tissues so if you put one in your mouth you’re going to have an immediate burning sensation,” said Dr. William Meggs, a toxicology expert for Vidant and the Brody School of Medicine.

“They can block the airway, produce suffocation if they are swallowed, they can burn the esophagus and the stomach they can even eat in hole in the esophagus or the stomach,” Meggs added.

So why are young adults doing this?

“Now with social media, peer pressure looks a lot different,” said Travis Lewis, spokesman for Pitt County Schools. “It can be bullying. At the very least it’s peer pressure and if it persists and there is a lot of negativity…then it does become a form of bullying.”

Vidant has seen cases of kids eating the pods, but not stemming from the challenge.

They said they see about 2 to 3 cases a year.

With all the warnings this has not stopped people from taking the challenge a step further.

There are cases of people snorting, inhaling and even smoking the liquid inside the pods.

Doctors say some cases have been so bad nationally people have died from it.

It’s a safe bet to say, use the pods for laundry.

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