SEB Safety Tip of the Day: Drinking too much water will kill you.

By now you’ve probably heard about the woman who died from water intoxication after participating in a morning radio show contest, but if you haven’t then here’s the summary:

Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban Rancho Cordova home hours after taking part in the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner.

“She said to one of our supervisors that she was on her way home and her head was hurting her real bad,” said Laura Rios, one of Strange’s co-workers at Radiological Associates of Sacramento. “She was crying, and that was the last that anyone had heard from her.”

I guess the danger of water intoxication is still largely unknown by the general population, so I didn’t really think too much about this news item when I first read it.

Then I came across this audio excerpt from the morning show wherein the DJs are warned about the danger and admit they know it’s a possibility, but they laugh it off as not being a problem because they think the participants will throw up long before they’d die of water intoxication. They then proceed to joke about how they got the contestants to sign wavers so if they die “it’s not our fault.”

Fortunately the radio station isn’t taking this lightly as they’ve canceled the morning show and fired everyone involved with the contest:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A radio station fired three morning disc jockeys and seven other employees Tuesday after a woman died from drinking nearly two gallons of water in a contest.

The hosts of KDND-FM’s “Morning Rave” were fired a day after the station announced it was suspending the show and investigating the death of 28-year-old Jennifer Lea Strange.

John Geary, vice president and general manager of KDND’s parent company, Entercom/Sacramento, announced that 10 employees were fired.

As it turns out Strange may have drunk over two gallons of water as part of the contest. She was one of two people left at the end and she ended up accepting a consolation prize of tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert when she could no longer handle the increasing symptoms she was experiencing. The DJs are lucky the winner wasn’t killed as well. No word yet on if any civil or criminal charges will be filed against those responsible.

10 thoughts on “SEB Safety Tip of the Day: Drinking too much water will kill you.

  1. Anything in large enough amounts is toxic – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the water that does it – urine contains urea and salts (as does sweat). Urea is a less toxic form of storing and disposing of nitrogen (a component of protein) than ammonia but it still is toxic. If Urea isn’t allowed to leave the body and builds up to high concentrations in the bladder, the kidneys may become less efficient at removing it from blood if the concentration gradient is working increasingly against it, also I don’t know if it’s possible but an over-filled bladder might lose it’s ability to prevent the contents from diffusing back into blood

  2. This site was a spoof to show the public’s ignorance of science (and no, I don’t think this is a US thing.  The only people I know who get the joke are those with a basic knowledge of chemistry).

    Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Some of the known perils of Dihydrogen Monoxide are:  Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
    Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
    Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
    DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
    Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
    Contributes to soil erosion.
    Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
    Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
    Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
    Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
    Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
    Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
    Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect. 

    When these effects were explained to the general public

    Research conducted by award-winning U.S. scientist Nathan Zohner concluded that roughly 86 percent of the population supports a ban on dihydrogen monoxide.

    The problem at this radio show could well be the refusal to urinate as well- you’re body just doesn’t work that way.  However given all the publicity about over-eating/smoking/global warming it’s probably not worth telling people- they just accuse scientists of scare mongering.

  3. I don’t get morning shows.  I want to listen to music when I am driving, not to people making dumb jokes and talking about whether Britney or Lindsay has the biggest drinking problem.

    I accept that there must be a huge number of people who disagree with me, obviously.  And maybe I would feel different if so many of the shows I’ve heard hadn’t come across as being by really stupid people.

    It’s sad this woman died trying to get a freaking toy.

  4. civil or criminal charges will be filed against those responsible.

    The irresponsible players, right?

    I heard this on the car radio – I nearly ran off the road.  LOL
    Management thought was a grand idea … till someone hurt themselves of their own free will.
    I think fuckwits should remove themselves from the gene pool … willingly.

    Back on track a moment – if there was REAL drug education everyone would know that taking Ecstasy causes one to want to drink water – one of the causes of death of ill or mis-informed Ecstasy users is ‘death by water’ … as above.

  5. LH – good find smile makes it sound deadly

    Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO

    Liquid at rtp, though I suppose you can inhale an aerosol of it

    Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns

    Well it does have high specific heat capacity so it’s vapour at room pressure carries a lot of heat

    Contributes to soil erosion.

    Solvent and carrier of particulate matter

    Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.

    Well it does have oxygen

    Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.


    Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.


    DHMO is a major component of acid rain


    Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.

    True :LOL:

    Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.

    How many other things could it be?

    I won’t say it here because that would spoil the fun for everyone else, I have my own store of it though – if anyone wants a 100ml flask of it please get in contact with me and send £500 to the details I will give you

  6. Me too, for both, but in an emergancy I could extract and distill one from the other.

    Theoretically DHMO on earth is irreversibly albeit very slowly escaping into space – some will be in the gas phase due to equilibrium, and some of the molecules in the gas phase will have speeds above the escape velocity of earth’s gravity, as a result of the bolzmann distribution stretching to infinite energy. This is speeded up by DHMO being in equilibrium with it’s elements, one of which which escapes faster being lighter, this also means earth is becoming increasingly and irreversibly oxidised.

  7. Another easy way to kill yourself by drinking too much water is to go pump some iron.  Oddly enough, I believe the creatine in the body tries to remove the water in your body as you lift weights, but when you drink too much your body still tries to store water in the muscles.  Over a small period of time, if you keep this patern up, you can basically drown your own body.

    Not sure on the medical and science explanations I gave, I read this a long while back.  It really interested me though cause I still see all the numbnuts in the gym that bring a gallon milk jug to fill with water.

    Dihydrogen Monoxide…  Penn and Tellers’ Bullshit did an experiment with that too.  LOL

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