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File photo. McDonald's(INDIANAPOLIS) -- An Indianapolis police officer took a sip of McDonald's iced tea and wound up in the hospital because the drink apparently was contaminated with cleaning chemicals, his wife told ABC News.

Reserve Officer Paul Watkins went to the McDonald's at around 10 p.m. Saturday night for a self-serve tea before his shift, his wife Jerilyn Watkins said, adding that she wasn't with him at the time and his lawyer advised him not to speak to the media.

He filled his cup halfway with unsweetened tea and went to fill the rest with sweetened tea when he noticed it looked dark, she said. He took the lid off the dispenser to take a look and determined it was OK.

"He filled his cup and took a big gulp and immediately his throat started burning down into his chest," Jerilyn Watkins told ABC News, adding that he called her from the car and said he felt as though he'd just drank "bleach."

The owner of the McDonald's where Watkins was served, Elizabeth Henry, issued the following statement: "Serving my customers safe, high quality food and beverages is a top priority at our restaurants. We take this claim very seriously and are looking into the matter."

Emails to McDonald's corporate communications office seeking additional comment were not returned.

Watkins immediately spit out the tea and told the girl behind the counter that there was something wrong, Jerilyn Watkins said. The manager then told him the employees had put a cleaning solution into the tea dispenser and they had forgotten to put a cup over the nozzle, Jerilyn Watkins said.

"The irony of this all was that manager asked Paul if he wanted another cup or glass of tea and told one of the employees, 'Hey, get this guy another tea,'" Paul Watkins's lawyer, Sam Jacobs, told ABC News. "Paul said 'No, thanks' and left. By time he got not very far in his police car, he became violently ill."

He called the police station and poison control, which determined that the tea dispenser was filled with a "heavy duty degreaser" chemical, according to the police report obtained by ABC News. Watkins spent the night at IU Health Methodist Hospital, according to the report. He underwent endoscopy the following day, Jacobs said.

Watkins has returned to his daily life, but he still has problems swallowing and experiences burning in his throat, Jacobs said. He's also concerned about the long-term effects of ingesting the chemicals.

"My husband has never drank, never smoked, never done drugs," Jerilyn Watkins said. "This is just insane."

A similar scenario involving a teen in Muncie, Indiana, was reported at a McDonald's in 2013, and a lawsuit was filed in January, according to ABC News affiliate WRTV-TV. McDonald's lawyers in the case have until March 31 to respond, according to court records.

Jacobs said he has not yet filed a lawsuit on Watkins's behalf and hopes he is able to work out something with McDonald's before doing so.

"He never wants this to happen to anybody else," Jacobs said.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Wavebrak Media / Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the winter, gloves hold railings, open doors, push strollers and sometimes even act as your own personal tissue. So what happens when all those germs transfer to your winter gloves?

Good Morning America took to the snowy paths in New York City's Central Park to swab people's gloves -- ranging from wool to leather to nylon -- and test for bacteria and viruses. We also swabbed the gloves of some of our fellow ABC employees.

The results?

Out of the 27 samples tested, 26 were positive for bacteria. While most are harmless, nine of those tested positive for bacteria including staph and MRSA, which could be harmful if they came in contact with an open wound.

One of the samples tested positive for the corona virus, which doctors say is one of the causes of the common cold.

"Every time your glove comes into contact , you're taking away some of the bacteria that was on that surface," explained Dr. Susan Whittier, director of Clinical Microbiology Service at New York Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

The good news for glove-wearers is that the bacteria and viruses that attach to gloves may not last very long, just hours or minutes in some cases.

"It's not going to be alive on the glove for very long because it has nothing to help it survive," Dr. Whittier said.

According to experts, these three steps can help protect you from potential germs on your gloves.

  1. Let your gloves air dry instead of keeping them balled up in your pockets.
  2. Wash gloves often. You can even use a disinfectant wipe for some fabrics.
  3. Be conscious not to touch your face with your gloves.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Instructional videos for do-it-yourself braces have become popular on YouTube, but dentists say people considering them should think twice.

A Washington State woman claims she closed her tooth gap in 44 days using $5 worth of hair elastics. She posted six videos to YouTube chronicling the process, garnering hundreds of comments and more than 100,000 views.

"I've got some news for you," Washington-based Jamila Garza says into the camera, beaming. "My gap is officially closed."

Then, she did a little dance. Sitting down with ABC Seattle affiliate KOMO, she said she could "fit a toothpick" into the gap before she used the hairbands to close it.

But doctors say DIY-dentistry is a bad idea because people can do some "major damage" even if their teeth look fine on the surface.

"If teeth are moved too quickly, the roots of teeth can resorb," said cosmetic dentist Dr. Joseph Banker, who owns a practice in New Jersey, explaining that this means the root can start dissolving. "Orthodonture is so much more than straight teeth."

People who try to make their own braces don't know enough about how the mouth functions to move things appropriately, potentially leading to problems with the jaw joints, muscle spasms, clenching problems and shooting pain, Banker said. They can also get gum and periodontal disease, he said.

The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics issued a consumer alert about the use of elastic bands by non-dentists to close gaps in teeth.

"Most of the time, there are no problems, but if the rubber band slides into the soft tissues, it is difficult if not impossible to retrieve it, and it continues along the distal surface of the roots, destroying the periodontal attachment and producing inflammation," the editorial states. "As this occurs, the teeth extrude, the crowns fan out as the roots are pulled together, the teeth become increasingly mobile, and then they might just fall out."

And Garza's videos, which were posted three years ago but have seen a spike in viewers, are not the only ones. YouTube is filled with videos claiming to offer a cheap alternative to braces without a trip to the orthodontist.

"Leave the dentistry to the experts," Banker said.



Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- American dog owners have spoken and once again they say they love Labrador retrievers.

The family-friendly breed of dogs is atop the American Kennel Club’s list of the Most Popular Dogs in the U.S., for the 24th consecutive year.

“The Lab truly is America’s dog,” AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo said in a statement.

The AKC’s 2014 list, released Thursday, shows German shepherds, golden retrievers, bulldogs and beagles following Labrador retrievers in the top five.

The beagle, which ranked number five on the AKC list, saw its breed get attention earlier this year when a Beagle named Miss P, from British Columbia, took home the top Best in Show honor at the Westminster Kennel Club Show earlier this month.

The AKC's most popular list is derived from the number of dogs within each breed registered with the club, an AKC spokeswoman told ABC News.

The bulldog moved up one spot, into number four, above the beagle, on this year's list. The AKC attributes the bulldogs' rise to the breeds’, “natural tendency to form strong bonds with kids, an easy-to-care-for coat and minimal exercise needs. “

A more specific type of Bulldog, the French bulldog, moved into the top 10, at number nine, this year for the first time in nearly 100 years, according to the AKC.

The Labrador retriever’s spot atop the Most Popular Breeds’ list continues its streak as the longest reign in AKC history.

Here is the full top 10 list of the 2014 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepherd Dog
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. Bulldog
  5. Beagle
  6. Yorkshire Terrier
  7. Poodle
  8. Boxer
  9. French Bulldog
  10. Rottweiler


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


alexandrenunes/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study conducted in Demark has linked ADHD to a higher risk of accidental deaths.

According to the study, published in the Lancet journal, researchers used Danish national registers to follow 1.92 million individuals, including 32,061 with ADHD, from the time of their first birthday through 2013. In that time, 5,580 of the individuals followed in the study died.

Researchers say that the death rate per 10,000 person-years was 5.85 percent among those with ADHD and just 2.21 percent in those without the disorder. Accidents were the most common cause of death.

Individuals whose ADHD was not diagnosed until after the age of 18 were at the highest rate of accidental death, the study showed.

The study included a solely Danish population, meaning its results may not be applicable to other populations.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.





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