PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The “Tide Pod Challenge” is causing health concerns across the country, and in Pittsburgh, it’s not just teenagers and children who are participating.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, so far this year, 44 percent of people who called the Pittsburgh Poison Center of UPMC because they ingested laundry pods were older than age 20. In 2017, just 9 percent of people who called for that reason were older than 20.
The Pittsburgh Poison Center of UPMC has received nine calls related to laundry pods so far this year. Four of those calls were from adults, and three of those adults said they intentionally ingested the laundry pods.
In 2017, there were 151 total calls from people who had ingested laundry pods, but only 5 percent of those people had done so intentionally.
Our expert advice when asked to participate in the Tide Pod Challenge. pic.twitter.com/Th0c2m9ewO
— UPMC (@UPMCnews) January 21, 2018
Dr. Michael Lynch, medical director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, told the Post-Gazette that ingesting laundry pods can cause burns to the mouth and throat and difficulty breathing or swallowing. Lynch also said if you inhale the detergent, it could cause irritation in your lungs that would cause problems breathing.
Lynch compared the social media trend to the “cinnamon challenge,” calling the Tide Pod Challenge “similarly pointless.” The cinnamon challenge was an online trend where people would attempt to eat an entire spoonful of cinnamon.