What to Know
A bill introduced in New York state would mandate child-resistant packaging, among other criteria, for laundry detergent pods
Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, both Democrats, announced their proposed initiative Tuesday
Lawmakers say the pods' bright colors, texture and smell can make them appealing to young children and adults with dementia
A bill introduced in New York state would mandate child-resistant packaging, among other criteria, for laundry detergent pods in response to the dangerous internet trend of people eating the toxic items.
Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, both Democrats, announced their proposed initiative Tuesday.
The proposal would not only mandate a change in packaging, but would also call for warning labels and uniform colors.
The lawmakers say the pods' bright colors, texture and smell can make them appealing to young children, adults with dementia and those looking to take part in the internet trend known as “Tide Pods Challenge,” which involves videos of people putting the pods in their mouth.
Pods are highly concentrated packs of laundry detergent. If ingested the product can burn your gums, inner cheeks, esophagus, stomach, diarrhea and more, according to Consumer Reports.
Social media platforms Facebook and YouTube have started to take down posts that show the dangerous “challenge” in an effort to curtail the trend.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports 154 calls to poison control centers so far this year relating to teenagers ingesting the pods.
“As the parent of two young kids, I’m very concerned about the safety of liquid detergent packets, which look and smell like candy,” Hoylman said in a statement, adding it is “way past time to fix these products or remove them altogether from store shelves.”
Simotas said she realized the danger of the pods a few years ago when she had to snatch one from her young daughter.
"These little pods are a disaster in the making," she said.
The Proctor and Gamble Co., or P&G, which owns Tide, recently launched a campaign featuring New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to help steer people away from eating the pods.
In a statement provided to NBC New York, Proctor and Gamble said that “each year laundry pacs have been on the market, we’ve taken a series of steps to meaningfully reduce accident rates and ensure they can be used safely,” including launching child-resistant packaging for bags and tubs, adding bitter taste to the detergent pods’ outer layer, and enlarging the warning label, among other initiatives.
Similar bills have been introduced in previous years but have gone nowhere.