NY bill would require Tide Pods to look less appetizing to children

A new bill in New York's state legislature would require that detergent companies like Tide make their laundry pods look like less appetizing to children.

The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D), says companies must make their detergent a “uniform color that is not attractive to children," The New York Post reported.

The bill comes after an outbreak of Tide Pod poisonings driven by the "Tide Pod Challenge" prevalent on social media. The American Association of Poison Control Centers last month issued a "high alert" in response to a sharp rise in the numbers of teenagers eating Tide Pods.

The New York bill would require that detergent be in a wrapper “not easily permeated by a child’s bite.”

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Hoylman and Simotas said Tuesday they also sent a letter to Tide parent company Procter & Gamble calling for it to make its product look less appealing.

“You and other manufacturers must use a stronger bittering agent to prevent ingestion of pods, reduce their pleasant smell, and make them feel more firm,” the lawmakers wrote.

In the first two weeks of 2018, poison control centers fielded 39 cases of intentional exposure, jumping to 47 in the third week, according to a release from the group. That led to a total of 86 cases so far this year. The cases have all involved people aged 13 to 19.

The increase is likely due to the Tide Pod Challenge, a dangerous social media trend in which teenagers bite into or eat the laundry pods while recording themselves.

The group had originally issued an alert about the pods on Jan. 16, but intensified the warning to "high alert" later in January.

In the first release, the association noted that poison control centers have dealt with more than 50,000 calls related to laundry pod consumption, but that the majority have been for children age 5 and under.