A 60-year-old resident of Great Britain, Elena Struthers-Gardner, died after falling on a reusable metal tube. She received a head injury when a tube pierced her eye. The incident occurred back in November, but forensic experts released the report just now.
According to experts, the cause of death was an accident. The British walked around the house with a glass cup in the shape of a can, in which a 25-centimeter stainless steel tube was inserted. At some point, the woman fell and as a result, the tube pierced her eye.
Strazers-Gardner was taken to the hospital, but she passed away the next day. According to her wife Mandy, the woman often fell due to injury from a race ride on horseback. In addition, Strazers-Gardner suffered from scoliosis and substance abuse.
According to forensic scientist Brendan Allen, the main cause of the accident was the lid in which the straw was fixed. He explained that otherwise she would probably just have fallen to the floor.
Reusable metal tubes began to gain popularity in the US and Europe due to the fight against plastic pollution. Some countries and cities have completely banned disposable plastic tubes: for example, in the UK, the ban will take effect in April 2020. As noted in the NYT, in the rest of the world, the idea of a ban came up against the resistance of people caring for people with disabilities.
They expressed concern about the safety and affordability of the tubes, without which many people with disabilities cannot live. For example, in 2018, disposable plastic tubing was banned in California and Seattle, and since then it has become more difficult to drink drinking tubs in stores.
By 2020, Starbucks plans to abandon disposable tubes . The network of coffee shops is going to stop using plastic tubes in all 28 thousand establishments around the world.
At the same time, in 2016, Starbucks recalled the reusable metal tubes because of the risk of injury. At least three children in the USA and Canada have been injured.
Dentists also warn about the danger of metal tubes. According to Timothy Chase of SmilesNY Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, these tubes can be dangerous for dental health. In addition, it is important to monitor the cleanliness of reusable tubules so that bacteria do not grow on them.
In a conversation with NYT, Christina Trapani, owner of Eco Maniac, a reusable manufacturing company, called the British case “terrible.” However, according to her, this is an unfortunate example, since reusable tubes can be produced not only from metal, but also from bamboo and flexible silicone.