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1 Dead, 2 Hospitalized in Pool Accident

Author Brian Hendricks

According to KRGV, a 10-year-old girl drowned in a pool at an apartment complex in Irving, Texas. Her two brothers were also involved in the accident, and were taken to a hospital.

Details about the Fatal Accident

The 10-year-old girl was reportedly swimming with her two brothers when she went underwater and failed to come back up. Her brothers, ages 9 and 11, were taken to a hospital. However, their condition has not been released.

The children’s mother was standing in the shallow end of the pool with her 3-year-old child when she noticed the older children go underwater. The mother cannot swim, so she called for help.

A bystander and a maintenance worker pulled two of the children out of the water before emergency personnel arrived, but it was too late for the 10-year-old girl. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office pronounced her dead on the scene.

National Drowning Statistics

The following information has been provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • About 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day.
  • About one-fifth of drowning victims are 14 years of age or younger.
  • For every child that dies from drowning, five more are hospitalized.
  • Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 are most at risk for drowning.
  • Most drowning deaths for children ages 1 to 4 occur in a home swimming pool.

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In Utero DDT Exposure Linked to Increased Risk for Breast Cancer

Author Erin King

In recent findings, a study has suggested that daughters of women who were exposed to the pesticide DDT during pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer down the road.

Details of the DDT Cancer Study

According to Reuters Health, researchers kept track of about 9,300 women born from 1959 to 1967, when the pesticide DDT was popularly used, and found that the women had almost a four-fold increase for risk of breast cancer if they were exposed to at least one form of the insecticide while in the womb. 

Researchers have often suspected that DDT and other environmental chemicals that can interfere and distort hormone systems and balance within the human body could possibly be linked to risk of breast cancer; DDT was found to have a direct correlation, being found in several women’s blood streams during their pregnancy.

DDT Debate Continues

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers DDT a carcinogen, but thoughts on whether the pesticide is linked to risk of breast cancer are still mixed; officials are still debating on whether there is a correlation between the two. 

Researchers have discovered that a form of DDT, known as o,p’-DDT, behaves like estrogen and has, in animals, been linked to a type of breast cancer that is fueled by the hormone estrogen. 

Though women cannot travel through time and reduce their exposure to the pesticide, there are still steps they can take to reduce the risk of breast cancer in their lives, regardless of whether they were heavily exposed to DDT and other carcinogens, etc.

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Wood Rot Likely Behind Balcony Collapse in California

Author Erin King

In recent news, officials have released a statement concerning the balcony collapse that claimed the lives of six students earlier this month in California; they believe the cause of the incident to be wood rot in the balcony’s foundational material.

About the Balcony Collapse

Officials in Berkley, California have released a statement that claims that the cause for the balcony collapse that occurred earlier this month was most likely wood rot caused by excessive exposure to moisture; multiple experts support this claim. Regardless of the finding, however, experts still believe that the fourth-floor balcony should have been able to support the 13 individuals, under normal circumstances. 

Most of the 13 individuals were Irish students working in the San Francisco Bay Area for the summer on temporary visas.  When the balcony collapsed, all 13 individuals plunged to the street below; they were in the midst of a birthday celebration when the incident occurred. 

Splintered wood remnants, noticeably decayed, were seen protruding from the scene of the crash, officials say. According to Reuters, all six of the individuals that were mortally/fatally wounded during the incident were students in their early-20s.

A memorial mass was held for each of the victims collectively on Wednesday, June 17th. About 350 students in the Berkley area came together after the mass, lit candles, and held a silent vigil for the victims at a nearby park.

Experts Continue to Investigate Collapse

The stucco-over-wood structure of the balcony at the Library Gardens apartment complex was called into question after the incident as city inspectors begun to investigate the collapse site.  Officials declined to make a statement concerning the condition of the balcony, but three Bay-area structural engineers, who examined pictures of the building after the incident, are in agreement that the collapse occurred because of wood rot and moisture exposure over a long period of time. 

Other experts believed defects in design, installation, waterproofing mechanisms, etc., were also believed to have played a role in the balcony’s eventual decay and collapse.

Experts also decided to remove the deck below the fallen balcony as well, after agreeing that the deck was unsound after the incident.  There is still question as to whether the balconies on the apartment building are/were actually functional or were meant to only provide an artistic flourish to the complex.

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