Cologne and cleaning agents: Russia's killer drinks. 12:16 15 June 2007, NewScientist.com news service; Roxanne Khamsi

A shocking 43% of deaths in working-age Russian men result from drinking alcohol not meant for human consumption, such as cologne and cleaning agents, according to a new study.

This morning I described Russia to my son as the Brooklyn of Europe: lots of smart people come from there, but it's not a good place to stay.

Mike Ott adds:

I recently spent some time in Ukraine trying to figure out the best way to help them build ethanol plants. A major roadblock was the fact that the output of the plant is a 'potent potable' and our hosts were concerned that people would try to drink it. I shrugged off the concern because, while 100% grain alcohol is not tasty, it can be consumed, but after denaturing with gasoline, it is nondrinkable.

I am aware of just one instance among all 199 of the US plants where an alcoholic employee was caught drinking the final product, and therefore thought this wouldn't be a concern. Perhaps I needed to better understand the locals to gauge this risk. 


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