“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.