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-   -   People eating Tide pods (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=709577)

Silvorange 12-04-2013 07:52 PM

People eating Tide pods
 
I had heard recently that there was a group of moms who were trying to get Procter & Gamble to stop making Tide laundry detergent pods look so tasty because kids kept eating them.

I got a call from an old friend a little while ago. Her elderly dad is in the hospital in critical condition. He ate a Tide pod :smack:. He doesn't have dementia or anything. My best guess is that his failing eyesight and sense of taste led him to believe that he was eating something edible.

Is it possible that Tide pods are just that good? I have some in my laundry room...

Ethilrist 12-04-2013 07:57 PM

See, that's how it starts...

Blackberry 12-04-2013 08:09 PM

Yum, they do look good.

I keep those Electrosol dishwasher pods in a bowl on top of my microwave and I can confirm that people are always wanting them to be candy so they can eat one. But no one has actually eaten one yet.

Inna Minnit 12-04-2013 09:04 PM

Ok.... Small child, failing eyesight. Maaaaaaybe you bite into it. It has to taste like, well, soap. If you swallow and continue eating at this point, perhaps we are all better off without you.

Silvorange 12-04-2013 09:13 PM

I still have to ask my little sister what the hell she was thinking when she ate a whole bottle of Tylenol when she was three. I can't really talk, though. I can clearly remember eating as much salt as I could pour down my throat one time, which I promptly barfed on the living room rug.

DataX 12-04-2013 09:15 PM

There's a pic on this page with a crying toddler who was told she couldn't eat it.

Gotta say it does look a little tasty (the pod - kid not so much)

http://www.amomlessordinary.com/tide-pods-review/

I've seen some prescription drugs that look a little too much like candy, but I guess if your kid is close enough to your drugs where it's possible for them to eat them - you are a bad parent.

Ethilrist - I think you should at least smell one and report back for the sake of science.

Marion_Wormer 12-04-2013 09:22 PM

There are lots of things that look like candy. I was shopping tonight and saw what I thought was candy for sale, it was actually erasers designed to look like Twizzlers.
Little kids don't have a good idea of what's safe until they're about 3. They'll eat anything.

Johnny L.A. 12-04-2013 09:23 PM

At first I thought the title was 'People eating Tide pools'. I wondered if people were munching on algae and mollusks, or if people were being eaten by tide pools.

Ike Witt 12-04-2013 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DataX (Post 16902535)
but I guess if your kid is close enough to your drugs where it's possible for them to eat them - you are a bad parent.

The same must obliviously be said for detergent pods.

Seriously, where are people leaving them that small children can get them?

DigitalC 12-04-2013 09:25 PM

I doubt it has anything to do with the taste, those things look like candy.

Inna Minnit 12-04-2013 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DigitalC (Post 16902553)
I doubt it has anything to do with the taste, those things look like candy.

But once you tasted them, they would taste really bad. A toddler might still swallow, but an old non-demented adult?

Admiral_Q 12-04-2013 09:55 PM

People need to start leaving bowls of the pods out in their homes, at least if they don't have young children. Think of it as Darwinism in action. I seriously can't think of any reason an adult with all of their faculties would eat one.

LavenderBlue 12-04-2013 10:24 PM

We don't buy them for this reason. My two year old has no sense of what to eat and what not to eat. She eats all sorts of bizarre foods and I have to keep an eye on her over it -- banana peels, tinfoil and (I admit we laugh ourselves silly when she does this) dry cat food.

Silvorange 12-04-2013 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LavenderBlue (Post 16902656)
We don't buy them for this reason. My two year old has no sense of what to eat and what not to eat. She eats all sorts of bizarre foods and I have to keep an eye on her over it -- banana peels, tinfoil and (I admit we laugh ourselves silly when she does this) dry cat food.

Now you have reminded me of something my older sister and I used to do. You will be disgusted. We would hide in the bathroom with the cat and have cat food parties, in which we poured small portions of Meow Mix on the floor for each of us and ate them. Ah, memories.

grude 12-04-2013 10:59 PM

Those pods look EXACTLY like a kind of gel candy sold by the cash registers in small groceries around me, I'm not kidding.

Lucas Jackson 12-04-2013 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silvorange (Post 16902530)
I still have to ask my little sister what the hell she was thinking when she ate a whole bottle of Tylenol when she was three.

I know you aren't talking about gel caps because I accidentally bit into one and there is no way you don't spit it out immediately. They burn.

chizzuk 12-04-2013 11:11 PM

I looked up a picture and I can see where it might be a problem for young children, but for adults who have all their mental faculties. . .I dunno. I have a general policy of not putting stuff in my mouth without knowing what it is first that's served me pretty well. Any candy that looked like that and was that big, I'd eat by licking first, which would probably cue me in that it wasn't edible.

Wile E 12-05-2013 12:01 AM

We've had some cases of dogs eating them, too. I don't know what their excuse is since they don't see colors too well so I doubt they're thinking "ooh, candy!".

Tamerlane 12-05-2013 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wile E (Post 16902806)
We've had some cases of dogs eating them, too. I don't know what their excuse is since they don't see colors too well so I doubt they're thinking "ooh, candy!".

They're thinking "it fits in my mouth, therefore it must be food." I've never met a discriminating dog ;).

Inna Minnit 12-05-2013 01:30 AM

I haven't seen them close up in person. I do have the dishwasher packs. They are coated with a plastic-like substance. Who eats plastic? Sure, a baby or a dog might. But a toddler knows enough to unwrap candy.

And why don't people watch their children and put dangerous things out of harms way?

This is why we can't have nice things.

EmilyG 12-05-2013 05:07 AM

I've discovered that there are people out there in internet-land who enjoy eating Comet cleaner. What is wrong with people?

Colophon 12-05-2013 12:21 PM

When we rented a cottage a year or two back, there was a welcome hamper of basic groceries - milk, bread, tea, coffee etc. Also in there were a couple of loose dishwasher tablets - the individually wrapped kind, but not like any I'd ever seen. I at first took them to be some kind of candy, and had to look closely to figure out what they were -- and I'm young, sharp-sighted and immensely intelligent. ;)

Mama Zappa 12-05-2013 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wile E (Post 16902806)
We've had some cases of dogs eating them, too. I don't know what their excuse is since they don't see colors too well so I doubt they're thinking "ooh, candy!".

That's a strong disincentive to using the Tide pods. I mean, a dog's favorite snacks include cat poop, horse poop, and rotting garbage.

Who wants their clothes to smell like any of those things?????

Re cat food: A friend of ours, years ago, told of how she had to put the cat's dishes somewhere where her toddler couldn't get at them. As she said: the food is harmless enough, she just couldn't stand how her daughter's BREATH smelled after such a snack.

So when visiting friends, with our just crawling daughter, and I heard a suspicious rattling from the next room, I knew to make a run for it and prevent my daughter from eating any more Little Friskies than she had already done.

SmellMyWort 12-05-2013 12:32 PM

They would have been a great addition to the "Worst Halloween Candy" thread that showed up in Boo this year.

Yllaria 12-05-2013 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inna Minnit (Post 16902517)
Ok.... Small child, failing eyesight. Maaaaaaybe you bite into it. It has to taste like, well, soap. If you swallow and continue eating at this point, perhaps we are all better off without you.

Meh. It's sad when someone's sense of taste* goes and everything starts to taste alike. But it's no skin off my nose unless I'm cooking for them and they're complaining.

* Yes, I know that it's the sense of smell that's going and that the tongue only tastes sweet/salt/bitter/sour and maybe umame. I was being colloquial and subjective.

bump 12-05-2013 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 16904223)
I mean, a dog's favorite snacks include cat poop, horse poop, and rotting garbage.

Don't forget about their own poop. My dog once was roaming our backyard and found some ancient mummified turd and promptly commenced to chewing that thing vigorously until he'd eaten the whole thing, like it was crap jerky. Probably the nastiest single thing I ever saw him do, mostly because it didn't appear to be a whim, and didn't seem to be a single-bite thing like most other nasty things he ate.

Nope, he had to work at that turd for a while before he ate the whole thing.


Back to the OP... I think they're bright and colorful, and that's what would attract small children, who then just eat everything because they can. I mean my 2 yr old son was chewing on the butt-end of an aluminum flashlight once!

No idea why an elderly non-demented person would decide to snack on one. Cry for attention maybe?

lieu 12-05-2013 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. (Post 16902545)
At first I thought the title was 'People eating Tide pools'.

You ain't the only one.

As for Tide pods, if people would just get in the habit of rinsing their food thoroughly before eating it this would never happen.

Intergalactic Gladiator 12-05-2013 01:07 PM

They look pretty good to me, but I say no way are those things better tasting than Sunlight dish soap.

Leaffan 12-05-2013 01:09 PM

Kids. I once saw my niece, at about 2 or 3 years old, place a cigarette butt in her mouth, and then get this absolutely horrible look on her face. The thing is, she wouldn't -- for whatever reason -- surrender it. She grimaced and fought back tears and then swallowed the damned thing.

carnivorousplant 12-05-2013 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Admiral_Q (Post 16902609)
People need to start leaving bowls of the pods out in their homes, at least if they don't have young children. Think of it as Darwinism in action. I seriously can't think of any reason an adult with all of their faculties would eat one.

I might leave some on the front porches of folks I really, really don't like.

Mr. Miskatonic 12-05-2013 01:30 PM

"I've got some buddies and we all drink bleach
you know we practice what we preach"

-The Dead Milkmen

LawMonkey 12-05-2013 01:47 PM

This thread is making me hungry.

carnivorousplant 12-05-2013 01:52 PM

Have you tried them dipped in Lemon Joy?

Sunspace 12-05-2013 02:01 PM

And I thought the bulk liquid was the dangerous stuff.

Machine Elf 12-05-2013 02:45 PM

So what the hell is in Tide that makes it so devastatingly toxic?

carnivorousplant 12-05-2013 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machine Elf (Post 16904694)
So what the hell is in Tide that makes it so devastatingly toxic?

Deep clean stain fighters. :)


Lye, perhaps?

Leaffan 12-05-2013 03:13 PM

Here's a pdf of the MSDS.

I'd say the ethoxylated polyethylene polyamine looks poisonous. But I'm no chemist.

PunditLisa 12-05-2013 03:20 PM

A long time ago, I was hosting a party and had simmering potpourri on the stove. My friend took a cracker, dipped it into the potpourri, and popped it into his mouth. Yes, he was drunk.

Good times!

Leaffan 12-05-2013 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leaffan (Post 16904787)
Here's a pdf of the MSDS.

I'd say the ethoxylated polyethylene polyamine looks poisonous. But I'm no chemist.

I just noticed the LD50 column, and I guess the Alcohols, sulfated, neutralized pose more of a risk.

Dangerosa 12-05-2013 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silvorange (Post 16902372)
I had heard recently that there was a group of moms who were trying to get Procter & Gamble to stop making Tide laundry detergent pods look so tasty because kids kept eating them.

I got a call from an old friend a little while ago. Her elderly dad is in the hospital in critical condition. He ate a Tide pod :smack:. He doesn't have dementia or anything. My best guess is that his failing eyesight and sense of taste led him to believe that he was eating something edible.

Is it possible that Tide pods are just that good? I have some in my laundry room...

My youngest is fourteen. Has life gotten so different in the past little over a decade that parents now don't make sure their cleaning products are out of reach of kids younger than five or so? I mean, this is Parenting 101 - keep the cleaning supplies out of reach and behind child locks.

And rather than stop making them, maybe people with little kids who don't want them because of the temptation shouldn't buy them. (They will be pulled from the market anyway - we like to have products like that for travel, and they've never been able to penetrate the market - they disappear. Purex laundry sheets were the bomb for travel. Apparently, people aren't willing to pay a premium for convergence in laundry detergent.)

Yllaria 12-05-2013 05:01 PM

Excuse me, but when you post an MSDS, I have to think it through. Well, the Ethoxylated polyethylene polyamine and the alchoholc (ethoxylated, sulfated, neutrolyzed have about a 5 g/kg LD50 (that's the dose at which half of the test animals died - there will be a different number for rats than for mice, for example). So if you're 150 lbs, you would be 331 kg, which means you'd have to eat 1650 grams or 3.6 pounds for half of you to die (assuming you're a room full of lab animals).

You'd have to eat twice as much alcohols (sulfated, neutrolized). Same with the ethoxylated alcohols (and I don't know why they give that one in mg rather than g). So unless there's a synergistic action between them, the 3.6 pounds is a conservative number to use, especially since they're not telling you how much is inert filler.

According to their website, the pods weigh 0.89 oz apiece. So you'd have to eat 64 of them to be smack in the middle of the theoretical danger zone. And there's only 57 of them in a container. That's going to act as something of a safety net.

Of course, if you're only 20 pounds, it only takes a bit more than 8 of them to have a 50% chance to take you out. Or rather, 8 of them if they were nothing but their active ingredients, which they're not. And if you were a rat, assuming they used rats, which I assume you're not.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Eating pods is bad. They have numbers to prove it. Don't do it.

Cat Whisperer 12-05-2013 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tamerlane (Post 16902822)
They're thinking "it fits in my mouth, therefore it must be food." I've never met a discriminating dog ;).

"You can food anything if you just eat it."

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 12-05-2013 05:46 PM

What exact advantage to detergent pods offer over powders & liquids, anyway?

Sunspace 12-05-2013 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor (Post 16905227)
What exact advantage to detergent pods offer over powders & liquids, anyway?

Marketing!

They're a new and exciting form factor, so people will buy them out of curiosity. Sales increase, at least for a little while. Whether they stay increased depends on whether they actually work better.

Canadjun 12-05-2013 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor (Post 16905227)
What exact advantage to detergent pods offer over powders & liquids, anyway?

They make less of a mess if you are a klutz.

Broomstick 12-05-2013 06:19 PM

Hell, I know someone - a former Doper, in fact - who once drank a lava lamp (It did not stay down long). Granted, there was considerable alcohol in his system at the time, but people do weird, stupid, dumb stuff all the time.

I am not at all surprised to hear of people eating soap "pods".

Ferret Herder 12-05-2013 06:27 PM

People eating Tide pods
 
Pods are also more portable if you have to travel any distance to do your wash - elsewhere in an apartment building, to a laundromat, etc.

They're also easy to give to others to use, which sadly contributed to the death of a 7-month-old whose mother, staying in a shelter, had been given some so she could do laundry. She put them in a basket next to where her infant was sleeping and stepped away for a short time. :(

Scoobysnax 12-05-2013 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yllaria (Post 16905119)
Excuse me, but when you post an MSDS, I have to think it through. Well, the Ethoxylated polyethylene polyamine and the alchoholc (ethoxylated, sulfated, neutrolyzed have about a 5 g/kg LD50 (that's the dose at which half of the test animals died - there will be a different number for rats than for mice, for example). So if you're 150 lbs, you would be 331 kg, which means you'd have to eat 1650 grams or 3.6 pounds for half of you to die (assuming you're a room full of lab animals).

You'd have to eat twice as much alcohols (sulfated, neutrolized). Same with the ethoxylated alcohols (and I don't know why they give that one in mg rather than g). So unless there's a synergistic action between them, the 3.6 pounds is a conservative number to use, especially since they're not telling you how much is inert filler.

According to their website, the pods weigh 0.89 oz apiece. So you'd have to eat 64 of them to be smack in the middle of the theoretical danger zone. And there's only 57 of them in a container. That's going to act as something of a safety net.

Of course, if you're only 20 pounds, it only takes a bit more than 8 of them to have a 50% chance to take you out. Or rather, 8 of them if they were nothing but their active ingredients, which they're not. And if you were a rat, assuming they used rats, which I assume you're not.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Eating pods is bad. They have numbers to prove it. Don't do it.

A kg is approximately 2.2 lb. So a 150 lb person would weigh ~68 kg not 331 kg. therefore, the LD50 is 340 grams or 3/4 of a lb.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 12-05-2013 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor (Post 16905227)
What exact advantage to detergent pods offer over powders & liquids, anyway?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunspace (Post 16905241)
Marketing!

They're a new and exciting form factor, so people will buy them out of curiosity. Sales increase, at least for a little while. Whether they stay increased depends on whether they actually work better.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canadjun (Post 16905242)
They make less of a mess if you are a klutz.

Are they, in fact, more effective?

Yllaria 12-05-2013 07:54 PM

Damn. Got it backwards.

Also, damn, that would be 1.6 ounces for a 20 pound child. That's less than one and a half pods. Even assuming there's inert filler, that's solidly in the danger zone with the first pod. Not to mention that a toddler could choke on the plastic envelope.


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