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These are dark times we live in. The year has barely begun and already, I think, it's a write-off. If you think I'm being dramatic, then please remember that the latest craze to take over the Internet is eating (and occasionally vaping) Tide pods.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers say that their centres had as many calls about 'intentional laundry packet exposure among 13-19 year-olds' in the first 15 days of 2018 than it did in the whole of 2016. Proof that, as a species, we're getting dumber.
According to poison control centres across the US - they handled 39 cases of exposure to laundry pods in 2016 and 53 in 2017. I dread to think what the stats are going to be 2018.
I know I don't need to tell you not to eat them, but just in case you're tempted - here's what will happen to you if you do.
The association told Cincinnati.com: "The resulting health implications from misuse can be serious. Known potential effects include seizures, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death."
The company that makes Tide, Procter & Gamble, even added a bitter-flavour to the outer coating of the capsules back in 2015 in an attempt to deter children. They most likely didn't consider that they would need to deter adults, too.
As the product was never intended to be eaten, they contain a pretty horrific mix of chemicals, some of which will make you very ill, and could even kill you.
Buzzfeed spoke to Jana L Anderson, a paediatric emergency doctor at the Mayo Clinic, who explained the full run-down of what can happen when someone chows down on a laundry capsule.
Anderson told the news outlet that as soon as someone bites into the pod they run the risk of irritating the membranes in their mouth and, of course, spewing up - because it's unlikely they taste great.
If swallowed, the detergent can burn the oesophagus and stomach as well as causing 'gastrointestinal distress', which doesn't sound like much fun.
Even more dangerous, the doc tells Buzzfeed, is if the person inhales the detergent, as this can cause serious difficulty in breathing - to the point where the person may need to be placed on a ventilator.
And, the doctor adds, if someone swallows enough - or is a small child - then it could be fatal.
So, in conclusion, it's a bloody terrible idea.
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