After 72 people died of alcohol poisoning, President Vladimir Putin requested his government to issue strict regulations against alcohol abuse. Last week, dozens of people from the Siberian city of Irkutsk purchased a scented bath lotion containing a toxic alcohol substitute.
After drinking the bath lotion, 41 people died at the local hospitals, whereas other 31 were found dead later. Residents resorted to drinking a toxic alcohol surrogate because a bottle of vodka was $3.
As the bath lotion was just 1$, the people decided to buy it without taking into consideration that it might be toxic. To reduce the rates of alcohol poisoning, the Russian government will issue strict laws on products such as perfumes, personal care items, cleaning solutions and any other product containing over 25% alcohol.
Until now, the investigators have arrested 13 suspects which might be responsible for distributing the toxic liquid. Although it was written on the package that the bath lotion is potentially dangerous if consumed, the label also said that the bath lotion contained roughly 93% of ethyl alcohol, which is commonly used in wine, beer, and liquor.
However, instead of ethyl alcohol, the product contained methanol, a toxic ingredient. During the investigation, the authorities discovered two workshops where the bath lotion was produced. Alcohol poisoning has been a public health concern in Russia for many years. Worse, the number of deaths have significantly increased over the past decade because more people are addicted to alcohol.
As such, alcohol abuse leads to poisoning in some cases. In 2015, 14,250 people died after drinking toxic alcohol substitutes, based on the statistics. Illegal surrogate alcohol products, such as the bath lotion, make up for roughly twenty percent of the Russian market.
Worse, they are in high demand nowadays. It is worth mentioning that it’s much easier for people to buy these products. For instance, there are vending machines in some cities from where locals buy liquor whenever they want.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Khloponin who is also in charge of the alcohol policy, the cheap liquor substitutes will be soon removed from every vending machine across the country. Last but not least, law regulators will most likely take into consideration banning the aftershave products containing too much alcohol.