‘Hooch’ or Spurious Alcohol

  • Context: Seven people died in Baghpat and Meerut in 24 hours after drinking spurious liquor.

Analysis

  • ‘Hooch’ is a term used for spurious alcoholic preparations.

Spurious liquors include:

  1. Illicit liquor (un-authorized preparation, not fit for human consumption and not complying with the BIS standards) and
  2. Denatured alcohol (prepared for industrial uses and is rendered entirely unfit for human consumption by adding denaturants).
  • Methyl alcohol (methanol) is a commonly used adulterant because of its appearance and taste similar to ethyl alcohol and its easy availability.
  • On consumption, methanol is changed into formic acid inside the body and adversely affects various organ systems.
  • In cases of ‘hooch’ tragedy, toxicity often comes from drinking methanol, which results in blindness, tissue damage or death.
  • Delay in providing antidote (ethyl alcohol) at the initial stage leads to more casualties.
  • Ethyl alcohol, widely known as ethanol, grain alcohol or drinking alcohol, is found in alcoholic beverages.

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