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TikTok trend sparks outrage, concern over health hazards and waste: ‘What is the point of this nonsense?’

“I have [noticed] an increase in this type of behavior across the spectrum…”

"I have [noticed] an increase in this type of behavior across the spectrum..."

Photo Credit: iStock

Another problematic TikTok trend has long caused frustration and concern for its horrendous health hazards.

In 2021, a Redditor called out the trend early, saying, “The ‘cleaning product overload’ community gives me anxiety and I hate it.”

“Quite possibly the WORST trend to come out of this year is seeing those god awful tiktoks of people dumping cleaning products down their toilet for views,” they continued, and supplied this YouTube compilation when asked for an example.

Just like other dangerous online trends, mixing cleaning products can be lethal. More than 19 people have died after taking part in so-called TikTok challenges.

“I’ve had the misfortune of accidentally mixing chemicals once and burnt my lungs,” the poster wrote. “I deleted tiktok (for other reasons.) and even then I keep seeing people make what is essential mustard gas and it drives me absolutely nuts. I can’t escape these videos ?!

“It is also HORRIBLE for our water ways and systems. Idk, I needed to rant on this one. What a s***** trend.”

Bleach, ammonia, and acids are among the most dangerous cleaning products, according to the Washington State Department of Health. They can cause coughing; nausea; shortness of breath; chest pain; irritation to the throat, nose, and eyes; wheezing; and fluid in the lungs.

Higher levels of exposure can lead to more severe breathing difficulties, vomiting, and pneumonia, and very high levels can cause death.

Aside from these health hazards, the overconsumption of cleaning products leads to more plastic waste in the environment.

Humans produce 440 million tons of plastic annually, including up to 220 million tons of single-use plastics, according to the United Nations Environment Programme and Plastic Oceans International.

Fossil fuel companies — which produce 98% of single-use plastics — and lobbyists are standing in the way of meaningful movement to reduce such manufacturing, NPR reported. Recycling and waste management are not viable long-term solutions because of such volume.

Packaging accounts for 36% of plastic used, and 85% of that becomes waste. Much of that enters Earth’s water: Forty-one million tons of plastic trash could enter aquatic ecosystems each year by 2040, the UN stated.

For environmentalists, there are ways to reduce plastic consumption, including with alternative cleaning products. Concentrates and refillables are gaining traction as people look to minimize the role they play in rising global temperatures.

“What is the point of this nonsense?” one user asked. “It’s stuff like this that reminds me why I’ve never signed up for tiktok. Lol. I’m too old for this type of nonsense.”

Another said: “Capitalism has commodified social engagement. Views and likes = engagement = social capital which can be converted into money. I have [noticed] an increase in this type of behavior across the spectrum because honestly the new generation [sees] fame as the only way out of poverty.”

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