ILMO Warning on Methanol Poisoning

ILMO Warning on Methanol PoisoningILMO Warning on Methanol Poisoning

In the first 7 months of the current year (ends March 20), 53 individuals lost their lives due to consumption of illicitly brewed alcoholic beverages, said Kambiz Soltani Nezhad, a member of the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization (ILMO) research center. “Illicit and impure production and distribution of alcohol, causes methanol (wood alcohol) poisoning leading to metabolic acidosis, permanent neurologic problems, and even death, when ingested,” he added.

Earlier there were reports about alcoholic poisoning and some  deaths due to the consumption of spurious alcoholic drinks.

Annually more than 200 million liters of all kinds of handmade or smuggled alcoholic drinks are consumed in the country, Salamat Weekly reported.

Many smugglers use wood alcohol and package them in foreign alcohol bottles to pass them off as genuine stuff .

The production of fake alcoholic drinks is not only in Iran and occurs in many countries across the world. Recently in India, 29 individuals lost their lives due to consumption of illicitly brewed alcoholic drinks and more than 100 people were hospitalized. In Mozambique 70 people lost their lives and three days of public mourning was declared. Also annually 10,000 people are poisoned in Russia due to spurious alcohol consumption and 1000 lose their lives. In Italy in the year 1986, fake drink resulted in 23 deaths.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the reason for underground production of alcohol is often its low price. Also sometimes, smugglers add methanol to beverages to increase their potency or to mask when it’s been watered down, but this can be very dangerous.  

So wittingly or unwittingly, handmade alcoholic beverages can result in toxic materials production which can lead to permanent health damage or even death.

As little as 4 milliliters of methanol has been known to cause blindness, and as little as 30 to 60 milliliters has been reported to kill drinkers. A more common lethal dose would be 70 to 100 milliliters.

 Alcohol a Drug

Alcohol is classed as a depressant, meaning that it slows down vital functions—resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions and an inability to react quickly.

As for how it affects the mind, it is best understood as a drug that reduces a person’s ability to think rationally and distorts judgment, according to the

Although classified as a depressant, the amount of alcohol consumed determines the type of effect. Most people drink for the stimulant effect, to “loosen up.” But if a person consumes more than the body can handle, they then experience the depressant effect. They start to lose coordination and control.

Alcohol overdose causes even more severe depressant effects (inability to feel pain, toxicity, and finally unconsciousness or, worse, coma or death from severe toxic overdose). These reactions depend on how much is consumed and how quickly.