Medicine: Death by Plastic

In Manhattan last week Nancy Alverson, 31, left her 2½-year-old daughter Lorraine in their Greenwich Village apartment while she went shopping. Back in "a few minutes," she found the child dead, apparently of suffocation, with her head swathed in the adhering layers of a plastic garment bag.

Lorraine Alverson's death came hard on the heels of warnings from the A.M.A. and the health commissioners of major cities that the filmy bags used to cover newly dry-cleaned garments should be kept away from children. So far, across the U.S. more than 30 deaths (including at...

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