Teens across the United States are putting themselves in danger by eating laundry detergent pods they think are pretty.
The so called “Tide Pod Challenge” took off towards the end of 2017 with teens filming themselves biting into pods of liquid laundry detergent and posting it to social media.
The pods in question are made by detergent company Tide and are known for their appealing shape and colour.
The idea of eating them has been around for years. Satirical website The Onion posted an article called “So Help Me God, I’m Going To Eat One Of Those Multicolour Detergent Pods” in 2015.
In early 2017 College Humor posted a video about eating the pods, called “Don’t eat the laundry pods”.
The meme has now begun to appear on Twitter and YouTube, with young people actually eating the pods.
Tide itself has told consumers to avoid eating the pods, saying they are made for washing clothes and the ingredients in them are harmful.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use our products,” a spokesperson told Buzzfeed.
“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 only be used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children.
“We have been consistently proactive in providing consumers with the right usage guidance and tools to enable them to use the product safely.”
Tide Pods are not available in New Zealand supermarkets.