Denver parents worried about Listerine Challenge

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DENVER — It’s yet the latest challenge taking social media by storm.

The Listerine challenge is getting extra attention in Denver this week, after a video with two Colorado men performing the challenge went viral.

“It was terrible, but we’re used to it. We’re experienced with stuff like that,” said one of the men involved.

FOX31 is not identifying the two men because we don’t want to promote what they are doing, but we do want to highlight the dangers because several viewers reached out to us with concerns.

A bottle of Listerine contains a lot of alcohol. There are 22 shots in a bottle, and 22 shots of Listerine equals more than a dozen shots of whiskey and more than two bottles of wine.

That greatly concerns toxicologists in the emergency department at the University of Colorado hospital.

Dr. Matt Zuckermann is a toxicologist at the hospital. He says poison centers receive calls every year about kids who consumer smaller amounts of mouthwash.

“It’s caustic to the stomach. It can cause inflammation of the stomach. It can cause bleeding. It can cause vomiting. It’s a bad idea. Don’t do it,” said Zuckermann.

The drive for social media clicks is what motivated the two men to do something they acknowledge is dangerous, and they know kids are watching.

“Sometimes publicity is worth more than dollars,” one of them said.

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