Alcohol Substitute 'Bath Oil' Caused Nearly 50 Deaths In Russia

Russia, a country dependent on oil revenues, experienced recession in 2015 after a collapse in oil prices, and is just now recovering into positive territory.  May Russians experience economic woes.  Some cannot even afford even the cheapest vodka, and would resort to cheaper alternatives.

Methanol, Commonly Used As Antifreeze, Is Toxic

A cheap alcohol substitute caused the death of almost 50 Russians, The Washington Post reported. The alcohol substitute 'bath oil' is labeld as containing ethyl alcohol and has clear warnings saying  they were not meant to be consumed internally.  

The bath oil called Boyaryshnik (Hawthorn), which contains methanol, was sold in local stores in Novo-Lenino for about $1 a bottle.  Methanol is a wood alcohol that is commonly used as organic solvent that, because of its toxicity, it can cause metabolic acidosis.   

Chief doctor, Leonid Vygovsky said about the victims:  "They have heavy chemical poisoning. All of those who were brought to us were unconscious. Their central nervous system, internal organs are struck and the toxic shock was developing rapidly."

Locals Consume The Cheap Alcohol Substitute Regularly

A state of emergency has been declared and an investigative agency already opened an inquiry to the incident, and the team have already confiscated more than 2,000 liters (about 500 gallons) of spirit at about 100 shops in Irkutsk.  The alcohol substitute was bought regularly by locals, and it was unclear as to what went wrong with the batch distributed over the weekend.  So far, there are already 49 people were dead, all between the ages of 35 and 50. 

All of the victims are residents of the neighborhood.  Those who buy the alcohol surrogate are often the most socially disadvantaged.  "This is a complete disgrace and clearly we should put an end to it.  Such liquids should simply be banned," Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev said about this tragedy

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