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Arizona poison centers warn against ingesting methanol

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

PHOENIX – Arizona poison centers are warning about the dangers of ingesting a toxic alcohol after seeing 14 cases in June.

Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center received calls where people drank homemade liquor or hand sanitizer that contained methanol.

In each case, the person was hospitalized in critical condition.

Medical experts are warning that ingesting methanol can result in death.

“Methanol can contaminate illicit alcohols, resulting in blindness and organ failure. Even small amounts can be fatal without immediate treatment,” Daniel Brooks, medical director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said in a press release Monday.

Methanol is a type of alcohol used to create fuel, solvents and antifreeze. Unlike ethanol, it is poisonous if humans consume it.

According to the release, some callers reported ingesting homemade hand sanitizer looking to receive intoxicating effects, but hand sanitizer normally doesn’t contain methanol unless it’s made incorrectly.

If anyone believes they have been exposed to any poison, medication or chemical, they are advised to contact the poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.

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