List of methanol poisoning incidents

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Outbreaks of methanol poisoning have occurred when methanol is used to adulterate moonshine (bootleg liquor).[1]

Methanol has a high toxicity in humans. If as little as 10 mL of pure methanol is ingested, for example, it can break down into formic acid, which can cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve, and 30 mL is potentially fatal,[2] although the median lethal dose is typically 100 mL (3.4 fl oz) (i.e. 1–2 mL/kg body weight of pure methanol[3]). Reference dose for methanol is 0.5 mg/kg/day.[4] Toxic effects take hours to start, and effective antidotes can often prevent permanent damage.[2] Because of its similarities in both appearance and odor to ethanol (the alcohol in beverages), it is difficult to differentiate between the two.


In 2012 as many as 318 people were hospitalized, and 49 died.[5]

Czech Republic[edit]

Customs Administration of the Czech Republic monitors observance of the ban in Prague, September 13.

The 2012 Czech Republic methanol poisonings occurred in September 2012 in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.[6] Over the course of several days, 38 people in the Czech Republic[7] and 4 people in Poland died as a result of methanol poisoning and several tens of others were taken to hospital.[8][9]


The Pärnu methanol tragedy occurred in Pärnu county, Estonia, in September 2001, when 68 people died and 43 were left disabled after contents of stolen methanol canisters were used in production of bootleg liquor.


India has a thriving moonshine industry, and methanol-tainted batches have killed over 1,000 people in the last 3 decades.


At least 51 people died in Tripoli in 2013.[16] The consumption and sale of alcohol is Haram (illegal) in Libya.[16]


The Madagascar methanol mass poisoning occurred in 1998 when 200 people died.[17]


In Istanbul, 21 people died in 2004 and 23 people died in 2005.[10] In 2011, five people died in an incident in the Turkish Riviera.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Application to Include Fomepizole on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines" (pdf). November 2012. p. 10. 
  2. ^ a b Vale A (2007). "Methanol". Medicine 35 (12): 633–4. doi:10.1016/j.mpmed.2007.09.014. 
  3. ^ "Methanol Poisoning Overview". Antizol. Retrieved 4/10/11.  dead link
  4. ^ Methanol (CASRN 67-56-1)
  5. ^ Xinhua 49 Cambodians die, 318 hospitalized by home-made rice wine February 15, 2012
  6. ^ "Pierwsze przypadki zatrucia metanolem na Słowacji" (in Polish). 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "S otravou metylalkoholem bojoval v nemocnici měsíc, nakonec zemřel" (in Czech). 12 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Metanol má 21. oběť, zemřela žena z Českého Těšína" (in Czech). 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Cztery śmiertelne zatrucia metanolem w Polsce. Dwa przez czeski alkohol?" (in Polish). 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g World Health Organization (PDF)
  11. ^ "Who, What, Why: Why are Indians dying from alcohol poisoning?". BBC News. 15 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "India toxic alcohol 'kills 17' in Andhra Pradesh". BBC News. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  13. ^ BBC News India doctors fight to save West Bengal alcohol victims 16 December 2011
  14. ^ "One more dies in Batala hooch tragedy,toll increases to 18". 10-11-2012. 
  15. ^ "Azamgarh hooch tragedy: Toll reaches 40, police book 17". The Indian Express. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Alcohol poisoning kills 51 in Libya". BBC News. 11 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Deadly brew hits Madagascar". BBC News. 29 March 2002. Retrieved 2013-08-29.