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Doctors Warn the ‘Cinnamon Challenge’ More Dangerous Than Thought

cinammon

It is known as the cinnamon challenge, and has been around for several years. In fact, in 2010 Babble reported on the growing phenomenon where people shovel  a spoonful of ground cinnamon into their mouths and try to keep it there for 60 seconds without drinking water. Hilarity ensues, apparently as they cough, choke and gag.

It’s so popular the video below has been viewed nearly 10 million times. In fact, a Web site devoted to the challenge claims that more than 40,000 videos have been posted on YouTube.  And it isn’t just kids! Another video shows the governor of Illinois taking the challenge.

But the Cinnamon Challenge isn’t just fun and games. As the New York Times reports, experts warn the dare is a lot more dangerous than it seems, causing a variety of problems including collapsed lungs!

A report published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday found that the cinnamon is actually poisoning people, leading to an increase in visits to the ER. Some kids have even ended up on ventilators.

In 2011 the American Association of Poison Control Centers received 51 calls related to the cinnamon challenge. In the first six months of 2012 the number skyrocketed to 178. Thirty of those incidents were serious enough to require medical attention. Doctors have seen everything from burning in the airways and nosebleeds, to vomiting and difficulty breathing.

Cinnamon powder contains cellulose which lodges in the lungs and sits there for a long time. If it’s coated in cinnamon oil that can cause chronic inflammation and even scar the lungs. Doctors say that getting scarring in the lungs is equivalent to emphysema.

In a sentence: knock it off with the cinnamon challenge! Collapsed and scarred lungs are no joke.

 

Top Photo credit: siftdusttoss.com

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