A British woman was impaled by a metal straw after falling over at home, a coroner said in a investigation this week highlighting the potential dangers of metal straws. Such straws are becoming increasingly popular as cities, states, and even countries have banned disposable plastic straws.
The woman Elena Struthers-Gardner (60), who had a disability, rushed in November and suffered a traumatic brain injury 10-inch straw pierced her eye following the report of the medical examiner, which was released on Monday.
"As a result of the fall, a stainless steel straw in a kilner-style cup penetrated the left eye," the report said, referring to a glass that resembled a bricklayer's glass, often one Lid has. It called her death an accident.
wife. The wife of Struthers-Gardner, Mandy, said in a statement read on request that her partner had been a former jockey and, after an injury on horseback, was prone to falls when she was 21 years old. She had scoliosis – a curvature of the spine – and had treated substance abuse issues, her wife said.
wife. Struthers-Gardner's wife did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
A British straw ban will come into effect in April, but global environmental pressures on disposable straws have met with opposition from some caregivers and advocates of people with disabilities. They expressed concern about the safety of rigid straws and the general availability of straws for people who can not drink without them.
"Extreme caution should be exercised when using these metal straws," said Brendan Allen, a medical examiner, according to The Bournemouth Daily Echo. "There is no yielding at all."
"It seems to me that these metal straws should not be used with lids that hold them in place," he added. "It seems to be the main problem, if the lid had not been put on, the straw would have gone away."
Kim Sauder, a Toronto-based blogger and Ph.D. Student in Disability Studies said that the death of Ms. Struthers-Gardner was a warning story.
"I do not know if the" reusable straw, "as the green person understands, is actually widely spread to truly know the dangers it poses," said Mrs. Sauder on Wednesday.
"A straw ban is nothing more than an environmental theater", woman. Sauder tweeted last year . "The biggest achievement of the straw ban is really the bigotry that has encouraged it against disabled people."
Many people with disabilities depend on straw to drink, said Mrs. Sauder, but they may have difficulty finding them in states and cities such as California and Seattle that have banned or restricted disposable straws.
Starbucks plans to eliminate its ubiquitous green plastic straws by 2020 at 28,000 locations around the world.
It's not easy for Starbucks to be green.
In 2016, the coffee chain was reminiscent of stainless steel straws sold in their stores, as these represented a risk of injury. At the time, Starbucks claimed to have received reports of three children in the US and one in Canada injured by straws sold with reusable beverage containers.
Dentists say that improper use of metal or glass straws can also be bad for your teeth.
"Chewing on a metal or glass straw can clearly pose a threat to your teeth and your health," Dr. Timothy Chase of SmilesNY Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry in New York. "Just as we tell people not to chew on pens."
Dr. Chase added that it's important to keep reusable straws clean to avoid infection-causing bacteria.
Christina Trapani, the owner of the Eco Maniac Company, which sells reusable straws, called the accident by Mrs. Struthers-Gardner "terrible."
"It's an unfortunate example," said Mrs. Trapani. "I hope this does not affect the movement."
Your Virginia Beach-based company sells reusable straws made of steel, paper, glass, bamboo, and silicone.
"Metal straws are undoubtedly the most popular," said Ms. Trapani, who founded her company in 2008. "I am sure that there will be some problems, especially with children and people with disabilities." According to market researchers, flexible silicone straws are a practical alternative.
Americans use 170 to 390 million straws daily. (According to a much cited statistic, the figure is 500 million higher, but this estimate is based on the research of a 9-year-old boy.)
These numbers and a viral video of a marine biologist Removing a plastic straw from the nose of a Sea turtle in 2015 has influenced politics.
Christine Hauser contributed to the coverage.