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Another Lethal Alcohol Poisoning Outbreak In Russia.

Police in the city of
Orenburg have confiscated thousands of liters of illegal alcohol after
another incident of alcohol poisoning in Russia.
In late December, one resident of Orenburg died and another was hospitalized in serious condition after consuming “surrogate alcohol” – non-drinkable alcohol consumed as an inexpensive substitute for vodka.
During
the ensuing police investigation, authorities confiscated 26 thousand
liters of illegal alcohol – including 896 liters of non-food alcohol
products – between Dec. 20 and Jan. 1, the TASS news agency reported.
The
haul came as the latest development in a “surrogate alcohol” scandal
that has shocked Russia and raised government concerns about the dangers
of illegal booze.
In December,
nearly 80 people died in the Siberian city of Irkutsk after consuming
boyaryshnik, a hawthorne berry bath lotion with a high ethyl alcohol
content. Investigators later discovered that the Irkutsk batch of
boyaryshnik contained toxic methanol instead of ethyl.
The
tragedy spurred the government to take action on a problem that many
believe has only grown due to Russia’s economic ills. On Dec. 23, Prime
Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed
the country’s consumer safety watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, to suspend the
sale of non-food products with an ethyl alcohol content of more than 25
percent for up to 30 days.
Meanwhile,
the authorities have cracked down on surrogate alcohol suppliers and
distributors. The same day that Medvedev ordered the suspension, an
Irkutsk court arrested the supplier of the tainted cosmetic. Additionally, police detained 13 of its distributors, mostly local kiosk owners.
In
Orenburg, dangerous illegal alcohol is hardly a new problem. In 2015,
 more than 100 people died from consuming “surrogate alcohol” – a three
percent rise compared to 2014, according to Rospotrebnadzor data. In the
majority of cases, the alcohol was obtained illegally
However,
not all poisoning cases came from consuming non-food alcohol products
like boyaryshnik. At least nine people in Orenburg died from consuming
counterfeit whiskey, purchased from an illegal seller either in person
or online. Experts have concluded that the fake whiskey also contained
toxic methanol.
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