- A health expert conducted a lecture about methanol poisoning in the country
- Dr. Chenery Ann Lim of Oslo University Hospital mentioned that cheap gin could be poisonous
- She also explained that symptoms of “methanol poisoning”
Dr. Chenery Ann Lim of Oslo University Hospital in Norway conducted a lecture at the Philippine General Hospital on Thursday about methanol poisoning outbreaks.
KAMI learned that alcoholic drinks could be poisonous when mixed with methanol.
“Methanol as a product, it’s odorless, it’s tasteless,” Lim mentioned.
“Majority of the times it’s for profit reasons. So it’s because businessman or business people want to make more profit so they will add methanol in the batch of brew,” she added.
While naturally produced methanol is safe, it becomes poisonous when it becomes ingested and converted into formic acid and formate in a human body.
“It is very acidic and it damages the eyes,” Lim said, noting that this is where the colloquial term “gin bulag” came from when methanol poisoning causes blindness.
Methanol poisoning could have similar symptoms with alcohol intoxication.
“If after 12 hours you are still not feeling well . . . You are vomiting, you feel weak and your head hurts, you need to consult a doctor,” Lim noted.
“Even if you’re not sure if the drink has been contaminated with methanol . . . It’s still going to be an antidote. But it’s dialysis that will really remove the methanol from your body,” she added.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also noted that methanol is used as an alcoholic extender is illegal in the Philippines.
“Methanol (in alcoholic drinks) is prohibited here. But there are some liquor (allowed) that have methanol content because it’s derived from the natural fermentation process or distillation process,” FDA officer-in-charge Eric Domingo stated.
Lim explained that not everyone is aware of methanol poisoning. It is deemed as a sensitive topic in the country. The Oslo University Hospital has been making efforts to spread methanol poisoning awareness.
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