Two New York state lawmakers are pushing legislation that would ban manufacturers from making laundry detergent pods that look edible.
New York City Democrats State Sen. Brad Holyman and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas introduced legislation Tuesday in Albany that would prohibit manufacturers from making detergent pods that look like candy or other edible items, the Associated Press reported.
The bills, proposed in the New York State Assembly and Senate, would require detergent packets to be one color, have packaging that is not see-through, and carry warnings about the risk of poisoning if pods are ingested.
“Bright colored detergent pods look like candy, they look like toys,” said Simotas, who introduced the bill in the Assembly.
Simotas and Holyman say that the bright-colored packaging, appealing smell, and squishy texture of the pods can tempt children or adults with dementia into thinking the packets are edible. The lawmakers argue that state regulation prohibiting manufacturers from packaging the pods a certain way could reduce the risk of poisonings.
“They might as well say bite me on them, because that is what they offer,” Holyman, the bill’s sponsor in the Senate, said.
Some state legislators are not on board with the proposal, arguing that the state should be working on more pressing matters.
“The key is you just shouldn’t eat it,” said Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, a Republican. “I mean any laundry detergent, whether it’s brown, red, green, whatever the case might be. It’s just ridiculous.”
The “Tide Pods Challenge” became an Internet viral sensation, mostly among teenagers, after several people began posting videos of themselves ingesting small, colorful laundry detergent pods. The trend has resulted in multiple hospitalizations for poisoning.
One Utah college student was rushed to the hospital after ingesting a Tide Pod a few weeks ago.
Companies have started initiatives that would lessen the number of poisonings resulting from the dangerous viral trend.
Proctor and Gamble, Tide’s parent company, launched an effort to warn people of the dangers of ingesting Tide Pods.
YouTube announced that it would delete any Tide Pod videos posted on its site that encourage teenagers to ingest poisonous detergent.