A Utah State University student was rushed to the hospital after eating a Tide Pod. This comes following a serious, concerning social media fad among teens.
The student was taken to the hospital after police received a call from an on-campus housing building about someone ingesting a Tide laundry pod, KWCH reported. Police referred to the incident as a "tide pod overdose," though the student's condition was not disclosed.
Tide Pods became a serious health concern beginning in 2017, when teens began issuing challenges to one another to eat or even cook and then eat the laundry detergent pods. Dr. Alfred Aleguas Jr. with the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa told CNBC that eating the pods could lead to teens finding themselves in "life-threatening" situations.
"Ending up in the emergency room is no joke," Aleguas said.
In a statement, Tide addressed the controversy and advised people to refrain from eating their pods.
"Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes … They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if meant as a joke," the statement read.
WFLA reported that several retailers began to place laundry detergent pods behind locked glass doors after the challenge grew in popularity. It reportedly became so bad that some teens were stealing them from stores.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) issued an alert in response to the challenge.
"During the past five years, poison control centers have received well over 50,000 calls relating to liquid laundry packet exposures. While unintentional misuse by children five and under accounted for the majority of these calls, a recent trend among teenagers ingesting the packets -- and uploading videos to various internet platforms including video-sharing websites, social media, and vlogging platforms -- has caused significant concern among poison control centers," the alert stated.
"According to AAPCC data, in 2016 and 2017, poison control centers handled thirty-nine and fifty-three cases of intentional exposures, respectively, among thirteen to nineteen year olds. In the first fifteen days of 2018 alone, centers have already handled thirty-nine such intentional cases among the same age demographic. Ingestion accounted for ninety-one percent of these reported exposures."
Stephen Kaminski, CEO of the AAPCC, added that the challenge was "neither funny nor without serious health implications."
"The intentional misuse of these products poses a real threat to the health of individuals. We have seen a large spike in single-load laundry packet exposures among teenagers since these videos have been uploaded."