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]). This does not happen with ethanol, which breaks down into acetic acid, which is non-toxic on small amounts. 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.

Cambodia[edit]

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]

El Salvador[edit]

In El Salvador, as many as 122 people died in 2000 as a result of drinking low quality liquors sold in unauthorized shops that were found to be adultered with methanol.[10] The incident prompted the authorities to declare a 10-day emergency prohibition and a massive inspection of alcohol-vending establishments. The root cause was believed to be an act of terrorism, possibly a social cleansing campaign targeted against alcoholics,[11] as the offending distilleries were not found to be responsible for the methanol contents that were present in the affected liquors.[12]

Estonia[edit]

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[edit]

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

Libya[edit]

At least 51 people died in Tripoli in 2013.[20] The consumption and sale of alcohol is Haram (illegal) in Libya.[20]

Madagascar[edit]

The Madagascar methanol mass poisoning occurred in 1998 when 200 people died.[21]

Nigeria[edit]

Between April 14 and April 26, 2015, 23 deaths were recorded in relation to methanol poisoning in Ayadi and Ode-Irele towns of Irele Local Government Area in Ondo State.[22]

Norway[edit]

Between September 2002 and December 2004, 51 people were admitted to hospital with symptoms of methanol poisoning, of whom 9 died. A further 8 people who died outside hospital were found to have died from methanol poisoning following autopsy. The liquor responsible for all of the cases contained 20% methanol and 80% ethanol and probably came from the same source in southern Europe.[23]

Spain[edit]

In 1963, methanol was used in the preparation of bottled mixed alcohol drinks such as coffee liqueur. According official records, 51 died and 9 lost their sight, but according to newspapers there may have been thousands of victims, mainly in Galicia and the Canary Islands.[24][25]

Turkey[edit]

  • 2004 - 21 deaths in Istanbul,[13]
  • 2005 - 23 deaths in Istanbul,[13]
  • 2011 - 5 Russian tourists died in the Turkish Riviera,[26]
  • 2015 - 32 deaths in Istanbul,[27][28] 3 deaths in Izmir.[29]

References[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.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help) 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). dziennik.pl. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "S otravou metylalkoholem bojoval v nemocnici měsíc, nakonec zemřel" (in Czech). novinky.cz. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Metanol má 21. oběť, zemřela žena z Českého Těšína" (in Czech). Novinky.cz. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Cztery śmiertelne zatrucia metanolem w Polsce. Dwa przez czeski alkohol?" (in Polish). tvn24.pl. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "122 salvadoreños mueren tras ingerir aguardiente adulterado con metanol" (in Spanish). El País. 13 October 2000. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "10 días sin alcohol -- Ley seca en El Salvador" (in Spanish). La Nación. 13 October 2000. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  12. ^ "Licor "Trueno" no contenía metanol, revela Fiscalía" (in Spanish). El Diario de Hoy. 21 August 2001. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h World Health Organization (PDF)
  14. ^ a b "Mumbai hooch tragedy: Death toll climbs to 66, 31 still hospitalised". Firstpost. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Who, What, Why: Why are Indians dying from alcohol poisoning?". BBC News. 15 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "India toxic alcohol 'kills 17' in Andhra Pradesh". BBC News. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  17. ^ BBC News India doctors fight to save West Bengal alcohol victims 16 December 2011
  18. ^ "One more dies in Batala hooch tragedy,toll increases to 18". 10-11-2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ "Azamgarh hooch tragedy: Toll reaches 40, police book 17". The Indian Express. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Alcohol poisoning kills 51 in Libya". BBC News. 11 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "Deadly brew hits Madagascar". BBC News. 29 March 2002. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  22. ^ "Methanol Poisoning: Death Toll Rises to 23 in Ondo". ThisdayLive Nigeria. 27 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  23. ^ Hovda, KE; Hunderi, OH; Tafjord, AB; Dunlop, O; Rudberg, N; Jacobsen, D (August 2005). "Methanol outbreak in Norway 2002-2004: epidemiology, clinical features and prognostic signs.". Journal of internal medicine. 258 (2): 181–90. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2796.2005.01521.x. PMID 16018795. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Os esquecidos do metílico" (in Galician). Galicia Hoxe. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "Vuelve el caso del alcohol adulterado" (in Spanish). La Voz de Vigo. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Bootlegged alcohol claims fifth victim in Turkey". Hürriyet Daily News. 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  27. ^ Aksoyer, Ali (2015-11-04). "Sahte içkiden ölenlerin sayısı yine arttı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  28. ^ "İstanbul'da Sahte İçkiden 1 Ayda Toplam 32 Kişi Öldü. İstanbul'da 13 Bin Şişe Sahte İçki İmha Edildi, 1 Şüpheli Yakalandı". Haber 24 (in Turkish). Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  29. ^ "İzmir'de sahte içki faciası!". Sabah (in Turkish). 2015-11-25. Retrieved 2015-11-26. 

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