December 21, 2016

Russians Dying from Drinking a Bath Lotion with High Alcohol Content

 A bottle of hawthorn bath essence, confiscated during an operation checking all private stores selling alcohol in Irkutsk, Russia (19 December 2016)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered stricter governmental measures to crack down on sales of surrogate alcohol, after dozens died from drinking a bath lotion.

This is a population in crisis. The alcohol consumption is gone back to the days of the USSR in which people were drinking anti freeze and going into Kidney shock.
They voted a President who became an Emperor and they have no power in politics to change anything, to get a job or a good apartment, never mind a house. Even a US defector by the name of Snowden is not happy there and hopping for a pardon which is not coming under Obama and doubtful to come under Trump.
The death toll in the Siberian city of Irkutsk has risen to 62, with more than 30 people seriously ill.
Mr Putin also wants new rules for compulsory labelling, plus tougher penalties for bootleggers. 
The deadly bath lotion contained methanol, which is highly poisonous.

Excise tax increase

Analysts say up to 12 million Russians drink cheap alternatives to regular, drinkable alcohol.
These are often labelled as cosmetics or medicines, and are regularly sold via vending machines. 
The presidential orders, published on the Kremlin website, call for tougher rules on all products containing more than 25% alcohol, and on the retailing of medicinal and veterinary products containing alcohol. 







A policeman in Irkutsk checking a private store is not selling alcohol hawthorn bath essenceImage copyrightEPA
Image captionPolice in Irkutsk check private stores to ensure they are not selling poisonous lotions

Mr Putin also approved increasing excise taxes on surrogate alcohols, which would make them less profitable.
The government has until July to create and submit the new legislation. 
The Siberian Times said the mass poisoning in Irkutsk was "now the worst such case in modern Russian history".
Twelve people have been arrested in an investigation that has seen 1,500 premises searched and thousands of bottles of spirits confiscated.
Investigators say the hawthorn-scented liquid carried warnings that it was not for drinking, but the label also said the product contained ethanol, rather than deadly methanol, which can also cause blindness.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered his cabinet to "sort out" the problem of selling such alcoholic products not intended for drinking.
Mr Medvedev called their widespread sale through vending machines "an absolute disgrace". 







A boxed package of hawthorn bath essence confiscated during an operation checking all private stores selling alcohol in Irkutsk (19 December 2016)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThis boxed package of hawthorn bath essence was confiscated during an operation checking all private stores selling alcohol in Irkutsk

Health Minister Oleg Yaroshenko said that almost half of those still being treated are not expected to live and were in a very serious condition.
"They came to [the] doctors too late.... Only a miracle can save them," he was quoted by the Siberian Times as saying.
The paper said that a doctor and a kindergarten teacher were among the victims and that many of those who died were discovered in their homes because they did not have sufficient time to call an ambulance. 
Most of the victims are reported to be aged between 35 and 50.
One 33-year-old survivor said that he only drank a small amount of the lotion but still woke up blind the following morning.

BBC

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