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Unrecorded alcohol consumption in Russia: toxic denaturants and disinfectants pose additional risks

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      Abstract

      In 2005, 30% of all alcohol consumption in Russia was unrecorded. This paper describes the chemical composition of unrecorded and low cost alcohol, including a toxicological evaluation. Alcohol products (n=22) from both recorded and unrecorded sources were obtained from three Russian cities (Saratov, Lipetsk and Irkutsk) and were chemically analyzed. Unrecorded alcohols included homemade samogons, medicinal alcohols and surrogate alcohols. Analysis included alcoholic strength, levels of volatile compounds (methanol, acetaldehyde, higher alcohols), ethyl carbamate, diethyl phthalate (DEP) and polyhexamethyleneguanidine hydrochloride (PHMG). Single samples showed contamination with DEP (275–1269 mg/l) and PHMG (515 mg/l) above levels of toxicological concern. Our detailed chemical analysis of Russian alcohols showed that the composition of vodka, samogon and medicinal alcohols generally did not raise major public health concerns other than for ethanol. It was shown, however, that concentration levels of DEP and PHMG in some surrogate alcohols make these samples unfit for human consumption as even moderate drinking would exceed acceptable daily intakes.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Irkutsk Forensic Institute, Prosecutor General's Office, Shevzov Street 1, 664035 Irkutsk, Russia
            [2 ]Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Strasse 3, D-76187 Karlsruhe, Germany
            [3 ]Department of Chemistry, Saratov State University, Astrakhanskaya Street 83, 410012 Saratov, Russia
            [4 ]Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), 33 Russell Street, ARF 2035, Toronto, ON, M5S 2S1, Canada
            [5 ]Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 250 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1R8, Canada
            [6 ]Epidemiological Research Unit, Institute for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Chemnitzer Strasse 46, D-01187 Dresden, Germany
            [7 ]Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 3M7, Canada
            Author notes
            Correspondence address: Dirk W. Lachenmeier, PhD. Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Strasse 3, D-76187 Karlsruhe, Germany • E-MAIL: lachenmeier@ 123456web.de
            Journal
            Interdiscip Toxicol
            ITX
            Interdisciplinary Toxicology
            Slovak Toxicology Society SETOX
            1337-6853
            1337-9569
            December 2011
            December 2011
            : 4
            : 4
            : 198-205
            3274728
            22319254
            ITX-4-198
            10.2478/v10102-011-0030-x
            Copyright © 2011 Slovak Toxicology Society SETOX

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Original Article

            Toxicology

            alcohol poisoning, russia, product quality, alcohol, unrecorded alcohol, risk assessment

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