Don't Be Dumb, Pods Aren't Gum
Erika Delorme, Amanda Wong
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary
Floor Location : M 097 H

The purpose of our science fair experiment is to better understand the the physical and some of the chemical properties of laundry detergent pods, in order to uncover the health risks of the Tide Pod challenge. This very dangerous challenge that's making it's way on social media, consists of swallowing and ingesting a laundry detergent pod. We tested the pH level of the detergent, which acidic food will best neutralize the laundry detergent pods, the speed of dissolution in water and saliva, how the pods react in stomach like fluid, if the pods fit in one's throat, how the pods will react when sliding down one's throat and what the membrane of the pods taste like. We also did additional research on the pods ingredients, the digestive system and other small measurements.
Our general hypothesis was that a laundry detergent pod would be dangerous in several ways to our health and would struggle to travel through one's body, but, once it enters the stomach, the stomach acids would easily neutralize the liquid detergent in the pod. After conducting all of our experiments, we concluded that our hypothesis was partially wrong. Our results demonstrated that there is only one real risk involved with ingesting a pod, from a non-chemical stand point. The number one reason that we are very against this challenge is because even though the pod will most likely explode before it enters your esophagus, the membrane of the pod can still stick to the walls of your esophagus and can cause you to choke. Furthermore, if some parts of the membrane and liquids enter your trachea, which is a air pipe that leads to your lungs, you could suffocate and asphyxiate because the liquids could prevent the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.