As many as seven people died in Russia, and two of them fell into a coma after they allegedly drank a hand sanitizer when they ran out of alcohol at a party.
The incident occurred in the Tattinsky district of Yakutia, the largest city in Russia. The police said they had found an unmarked five-liter canister on the scene, and its contents showed that it contained 69% methanol. It’s non-drinking alcohol that is toxic to humans at concentrations of 30 grams or more.
According to the Moscow Times article, a group of friends had drunk a hand sanitizer during a dinner party. The sanitizer had been bought from a local store earlier. While three people died on the spot, the others were taken to the hospital and in intensive care. Four people died later.
“Methyl alcohol can cause acute poisoning with death by inhalation, ingestion; irritates the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, eyes. When ingested, the lethal dose of methanol for humans is 30 grams, but severe poisoning, accompanied by blindness, can be caused by 5-10 grams of the substance,” regulator Rospotrebnadzor said.
A court complaint about “infliction of death by negligence” has been brought. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Yakutia prohibited the selling of the methanol-based hand sanitizer after the incident.
In the poorer regions of Russia, the consumption of alcohol substitutes at cheaper rates is normal. In a similar incident in2016, 78 people died in the Irkutsk region of Siberia after they had drunk a hawthorn-infused bath lotion.
10 died in India
Consumption of hand sanitizers instead of alcohol has also claimed a life in India. At least 10 people died after they allegedly drank alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh in July.