Gujarat hooch tragedy: Chemistry and biology of the ‘fake’ liquor | Ahmedabad News

As the death toll in the fake alcohol tragedy that hit Botad district and nearby villages of Ahmedabad rose to 37 on Tuesday, police and the state government launched a crackdown statewide against liquor stores in ‘dry’ Gujarat.
Amid Gujarat’s hooch tragedy, here’s what everyone should know about the booze:
*Chemical formula of methanol: CH3 OH
*Methyl alcohol or methanol is the simplest alcohol. It is a colorless and flammable liquid
*It is mainly made by hydrogenation of carbon monoxide
*It is used to make many other chemicals such as formaldehyde, acetic acid, methyl benzoate and various plastics. It is used as a solvent in industrial processes
Why do smugglers use methanol?
* The general recipe for making country liqueur is to ferment jaggery or fruit extract with yeast in water. The mixture is kept in earthen pots, often buried in the ground to speed up fermentation
*Experts say fermentation can take days or weeks, when bootleggers find it difficult to deliver stock in a short time, they resort to controlled addition of methanol
*Adding methanol gives “flavor” and speeds up the process of making the intoxicating liquid. Sometimes acid is added to improve the “kick”
When country alcohol becomes booze
* Officials from the Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS) said the normal country alcohol seized had an ethyl alcohol (ethanol) content of around 10% or less
*When even about 40ml of methanol is ingested, it becomes fatal. So, when its concentration in the mixture increases even by 5%, such a country liqueur becomes deadly
How it affects the human body
*Methanol, when taken as a drink, enters the stomach and is metabolized to formaldehyde and then to formic acid
* The effects are felt in just a few hours, as the person feels dizzy and nauseous, vomits and may have severe headaches and shortness of breath
* Vision loss is common in dyke tragedies and patients may also have seizures. Higher doses can send patients into a coma or multiple organ failure, leading to death
Ethanol to treat methanol poisoning
While injections such as fomepizole are used for treatment, civil hospital authorities say the most effective treatment is to use diluted ethanol (drinking alcohol) intravenously, to stabilize patients and use dialysis in people with severe symptoms to reduce the amount of methanol in the blood. .

Previous Festival-goers told 'doctors are your friends' as HSE pilot drug harm reduction campaign
Next Wake Grand Jury Indicts Ex-Raleigh Cop Linked To Fake Drug Arrests ::