One of the most serious consequences of drinking alcohol of a poor quality is methanol intoxication. Of course, not all of counterfeit alcohol or just alcohol of a poor quality has to include this dangerous substance. Usually, poor alcohol products just have a higher amount of aldehydes and fusel alcohols which are responsible for hangover. Certainly, the side effect of having such drinks can be a rather unpleasant experience and they can occur even if one consumes a relatively small amount of such an alcohol.
Yet, some of the drinks indeed have methanol in them and it is difficult to say if the product has this dangerous substance or not before a person actually gets intoxicated with it. This article will tell you more about methanol in alcohol drinks.
What is so dangerous about methanol?
Methanol is one of the by-product alcohols which are produced during the fermentation process of ethanol production. Unfortunately, this toxic substance is rather potent and it does not require a large amount to be affecting a body.
Thus, even 5 ml can make a person intoxicated. At the same time, some people can die after consuming only 15 ml of methanol. The majority of people will die after consuming 30 ml of methanol. The death can come during a day or two after having this alcohol. By the way, pay your attention that this amount is given not to a pure methanol. It is true for a 40% solution of methanol. For pure substance these amounts will be even smaller.
Is it possible to identify methanol in a drink at home?
One of the greatest problems regarding methanol is the fact there is no proven home way for identifying this substance in alcohol beverages. Unfortunately, you can come across various ways on the Internet, however, according to the specialists, none of them really works.
One of the most popular ways used by people at home for identifying methanol in drinks is burning the product. Some people claim methanol is giving greenish flames. It is not recommended to rely on this method as it was not proven by experts. As you can imagine, this can be dangerous, as the one who believes such a method works can easily consume a drink with methanol believing there is none of it since there was no green flame during a burning experiment.
What are the symptoms of methanol intoxication?
The slight form of intoxication can be easily mistaken with a somewhat severe hangover. In this condition a person will get nauseated after the end of the ethanol buzz. A person can actually vomit and experience acute stomach pain. The vision can also get blurred. Vertigo, fatigue and increased high rate are also popular for this state.
It is highly recommended to reach for the help of medical professionals if it happens there is acute stomach ache after the consumption of alcohol and especially if it is accompanied by problems with vision. That is so since a more severe methanol poisoning can cause a complete loss of vision within a couple of days after the consumption of alcohol. Unfortunately, the changes in the vision are permanent. What actually happens to the eyes is the atrophy of a nerve responsible for the ability to see. Furthermore, there are also other severe side effects of methanol consumption including pneumonia, kidney and liver dysfunction.
Finally, as it has already been mentioned, the most severe form of intoxication ends with death.
At the same time, it is possible to avoid some of the severe effects of methanol consumption if a person contacts doctors soon after the occurrence of the first symptoms. A well-known and effective antidote to methanol is ethanol.