World Briefs: North Face co-founder dies in kayak accident

North Face co-founder dies in kayak accident

SANTIAGO • American environmentalist and businessman Douglas Tompkins, founder of outdoor clothing and equipment company The North Face, died on Tuesday during a kayaking trip in Chile, local health officials said. He was 72.

He succumbed to severe hypothermia after his kayak capsized on Lake Carrera, said the health department of Chile's Aysen region.

Mr Tompkins was kayaking with five others when violent winds generated waves that tossed them all into the near-freezing water. A Chilean navy ship rescued the group, and Mr Tompkins was taken by private helicopter to the hospital in the town of Coyhaique, where he died.

Mr Tompkins founded The North Face in 1964 with a partner. After selling his stakes in The North Face and clothing brand Esprit, he retired to Chile in 1990.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


E-cigs 'use chemical linked to lung disease'

WASHINGTON • Three in four e-cigarettes were found to use a flavoured liquid that has been linked to severe respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliterans, US researchers said on Tuesday.

For the study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, scientists at Harvard University tested flavours such as Cotton Candy and Fruit Squirts, and found that 75 per cent of tested samples contained diacetyl.

"Since most of the health concerns about e-cigarettes have focused on nicotine, there is still much we do not know about e-cigarettes," said study co-author David Christiani, a professor of environmental genetics. "In addition to containing varying levels of the addictive substance nicotine, they also contain other cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde and, as our study shows, flavouring chemicals that can cause lung damage."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2015, with the headline 'WorldBriefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe