Why Is Drinking Rubbing Alcohol Bad?
Question: I lived on the street for a time after I lost my job. Out there, if they can’t get anything else, some people drink rubbing alcohol. What is in rubbing alcohol that is so bad?
Answer: Rubbing alcohol is not ethyl alcohol (beverage alcohol), but isopropyl alcohol, a totally different chemical than the alcohol of beer, wine, or liquor. The lethal dose of isopropyl alcohol by mouth in adult humans is about 8 ounces. Another kind of poison is wood alcohol. This is methyl alcohol and it breaks down in the liver to formaldehyde. Those who survive after drinking it often suffer permanent blindness. As little as 2 ounces of wood alcohol can be fatal.
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