Concerns grow over new viral challenge to eat laundry detergent pods

In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, laundry detergent packets are held for a photo, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - A new social media challenge has doctors concerned.

In March 2017, College Humor posted a video that shows someone eating laundry detergent pods and at the end, he is carted off to the ambulance saying, "I don't regret it."

Now, videos and memes show photos where teens and kids put laundry pods on pizzas or breakfast cereal, trying to bite into them and spit them out.

The detergent already comes in a child-resistant packaging to keep young children from swallowing them.

Medical experts said the consequences of ingesting laundry detergent can be life-threatening, as they can cause vomiting, throat burns, eye injuries, and it can also burn your mouth and lips, according to CNN.

“The membrane around [the pod], when it dissolves, can cause central nervous system depression,” said toxicologist Dr. Frank LoVecchio to ABC 15 in Phoneix, causing people to become sleepy or fatigued.

P&G, which makes detergents including Gain and Tide, has set up ad campaigns to emphasize safety in households that use the packets.

According to CBS, teens said they did it on a dare even knowing it could harm them.

"A lot of people were just saying how stupid I was or how – why would I be willing to do that," said 19-year-old Marc Pagan. "No one should be putting anything like that in their mouths, you know?"

Tide released a statement saying its laundry pacs are only meant for clothes:

“Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes, and they're used safely in millions of households every day. They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children.
"We have seen no indication of an increase of cases seeking medical treatment amongst infants and teenagers associated with the recent uptick in social media conversation or in consumer calls.”
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