WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Concerns have been expressed over the latest social media fad in which teens are putting poisonous laundry detergent ‘pods’ in their mouths and posting the videos online for clicks and internet fame.
Marc Pagan, 19, did it on a dare. He said he knew better but did it anyway.
“A lot of people were just saying how stupid I was or why would I be willing to do that,” he said. “No one should be putting anything like that in their mouths you know.”
That’s just what one government watchdog agency is saying.
“This started out as a joke on the internet and now it’s just gone too far,” said Mare Buerkle, acting-Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. She says ingesting the liquid of the pods carries a deadly risk.
The pods are bright and colorful and to children they can look like candy. At least 10 deaths have been linked to ingesting the pods, two were children and the other eight were seniors with dementia.
Proctor and Gamble, the maker of “Tide” products, said in a statement, “They should not be played with, even if meant as a joke. Safety is no laughing matter.”
Buerkle said her group has worked with manufacturers to make the packets less attractive to children.
“Making that laundry packet opaque, less attractive, less colorful,” she said, and getting them to “reduce the toxicity and the strength of laundry detergents.”
The danger posed to small children is so high that researchers have recommended that parents not buy them at all and instead use regular liquid detergent.
More than 62-thousand children under the age of six were exposed to laundry and dishwasher detergents between 2013 and 2014. Consumer Reports has said it would no longer recommend detergent packets, citing “the unique risks.”