Misconceptions hinder efforts to prevent methanol poisoning deaths
Elly Burhaini Faizal
The Jakarta Post
Misconceptions have hampered efforts to prevent fatalities from methanol poisoning that recently killed 60 people in West Java.
In many cases, methanol was added to ethanol, which people have been drinking recreationally for some time, to give alcohol more of a kick. In fact, methanol does not have an additional effect as expected, but it will kill people who consume it.
“Methanol will not make you drunk, so, it’s poor value for money. No additional effect can be expected from methanol except for those who are making money by mixing it with ethanol,” Oslo University Hospital medical expert Knut Erik Hovda told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
He said there were many misconceptions about methanol. “It has been widely perceived that, for instance, if you make your ethanol the wrong way, you will have a lethal amount of methanol coming out from the distillation process,” said Hovda.
“It is always added [to ethanol] by someone who wants to make money,” he asserted.
(Read also: Ethanol needed to treat 'oplosan' poisoning: Expert)
Misconceptions among doctors who lack knowledge about methanol-related details have aggravated the problem.
Hovda said methanol would not be toxic before it metabolized in the body and breaking down into formic acid, adding that it was the formic acid that killed people.
“As long as you have ethanol in your blood, you will not get the toxic effects of methanol because it will stop its transformation process into formic acid. You will get the toxic effects only after the ethanol is completely out of your blood system,” said Hovda.
“This is why the most important part of methanol poisoning treatment is to give patients more ethanol,” he added.
- North Sumatra's regent nabbed in antigraft operation
- 'Waria' told to leave their home in Jakarta amid anti-LGBT campaign
- 22 migrants missing off Morocco after boat capsizes
- Indonesia's latest economic stimulus package: What you need to know
- 'Moral panic' targets Indonesia's LGBT community
- Boeing ‘confident’ in 737 MAX safety despite aircraft flaw
- Christian school rumor leads to closure of vocational academy in Batam
- Trump says doesn't want to hear 'suffering' Khashoggi tape
- Republican urges conservatives to run against Trump in 2020
- Govt looks to private employees to fill public jobs after 90 percent of applican...