"I don’t know why they make them look so delicious,” said the United States Senator.
In recent months, many people began noticing memes and jokes appearing online about people eating "Tide Pods," the conveniently prepackaged laundry detergent capsules that you throw in the washing machine. At first, we all thought that this was some kind of joke, that people could not possibly be doing something so obviously dangerous. However, videos began to circulate online showing large numbers of teens taking the "Tide Pod challenge," by eating the detergent pods on camera.
This is a sad and strange testament to how far our society has fallen, and how young people have a total lack of concern for their health and their lives. There is not much that can be done about this as it is the symptom of a mass psychosis that has left millions of teens feeling like they have nothing to live for, aside from impressing strangers on the internet.
This is obviously not something that can be fixed with laws or regulation, but don't tell that to Senator Charles Schumer of New York, "The Empire State." When Tide Pod consumption first became an issue, Schumer gave a press conference demanding that The Consumer Product Safety Commission crackdown on detergent companies who use colorful "pods" for their soap. Schumer said these pods are tempting for children to eat because of how they look. He then admitted that he has wanted to eat tide pods in the past.
“The incidents are skyrocketing, these pods were supposed to make household chores easier, not tempt our children to swallow harmful chemicals. I saw one on my staffer's desk and I wanted to eat it,” Schumer said, adding that, "I don’t know why they make them look so delicious.”
Schumer said that he is not interested in flat-out banning the pods, but says that further regulation is needed.
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“We don’t want to throw out the baby with the detergent water,” he said.
This press conference happened before the trend caught on, back in 2012, and was directed more at children than teens, but these comments are still relevant to the discussion, as politicians are renewing calls for regulation. These comments also seem even more ridiculous in light of people eating these pods intentionally.
Dr. Rais Vohra, a medical toxicologist at UCSF Fresno, told CNN that the pods can burn a person's insides.
"They can cause burns in the mouth, if the liquid bursts open and goes in the back of the throat, they could cause burns in the back of the throat which would necessitate an ER visit or even ICU admission,"Vohra said.
Some companies and stores have taken voluntary measures to increase the safety of the pods. For example, in May, Proctor and Gamble made the lids for the Tide Pod containers more difficult to open, and many grocery stores have taken measures to lock them behind the counter.
Poison control centers last year received 10,570 reports of children 5 or younger being exposed to laundry detergent packets.