Unrecorded alcohol consumption in Russia: toxic denaturants and disinfectants pose additional risks

Open access

Unrecorded alcohol consumption in Russia: toxic denaturants and disinfectants pose additional risks

In 2005, 30% of all alcohol consumption in Russia was unrecorded. This paper describes the chemical composition of unrecorded and low cost alcohol, including a toxicological evaluation. Alcohol products (n=22) from both recorded and unrecorded sources were obtained from three Russian cities (Saratov, Lipetsk and Irkutsk) and were chemically analyzed. Unrecorded alcohols included homemade samogons, medicinal alcohols and surrogate alcohols. Analysis included alcoholic strength, levels of volatile compounds (methanol, acetaldehyde, higher alcohols), ethyl carbamate, diethyl phthalate (DEP) and polyhexamethyleneguanidine hydrochloride (PHMG). Single samples showed contamination with DEP (275-1269 mg/l) and PHMG (515 mg/l) above levels of toxicological concern. Our detailed chemical analysis of Russian alcohols showed that the composition of vodka, samogon and medicinal alcohols generally did not raise major public health concerns other than for ethanol. It was shown, however, that concentration levels of DEP and PHMG in some surrogate alcohols make these samples unfit for human consumption as even moderate drinking would exceed acceptable daily intakes.

Babor T, Caetano R, Casswell S, Edwards G, Giesbrecht N, Graham K, Grube J, Hill L, Holder H, Homel R, Livingstone M, Österberg E, Rehm J, Room R and Rossow I. (2010). Alcohol: No ordinary commodity. Research and public policy. 2nd edition. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Bobak M, McKee M, Rose R and Marmot M. (2002). Alcohol consumption in a national sample of the Russian population. Addiction 94: 857-866.

Bobrova N, West R, Malutina D, Koshkina E, Terkulov R and Bobak M. (2009). Drinking alcohol surrogates among clients of an alcohol-misuser treatment clinic in Novosibirsk, Russia. Subst Use Misuse 44: 1821-1832.

Brown D, Butterworth KR, Gaunt IF, Grasso P and Gangolli SD. (1978). Short-term oral toxicity study of diethyl phthalate in rat. Food Cosmet Toxicol 16: 415-422.

Chmilenko TS, Galimbievskay EA and Chmilenko FA. (2010). Formation of bromophenol red ion associates and their interaction with polyhexamethyleneguanidine in water solutions. Met Obj Chim Anal 5: 19-28.

Condrashov SA. (1992). Hygienic evaluation of new polymer flocculant polyhexamethyleneguanidine. Gig Sanit 54: 11-13.

Djdichko A, Evdokimova E. (2008). Moderate consumption: where are the limits? Med Gaz 78.

European Commission. (2000). Commission Regulation (EC) No 2870/2000 laying down Community reference methods for the analysis of spirits drinks. Off J Europ Comm L333: 20-46.

European Parliament and Council. (2008). Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89. Off J Europ Union L39: 16-54.

Federal Law. (2010). No. 171. About performing of state control of production and turnover of ethyl alcohol and alcohol products from 27.07.2010. Moscow: Russian Federation.

Gil A, Polikina O, Koroleva N, Leon DA and McKee M. (2010). Alcohol policy in a Russian region: a stakeholder analysis. Eur J Pub Health 20: 588-594.

Gil A, Polikina O, Koroleva N, McKee M, Tomkins S and Leon DA. (2009). Availability and characteristics of nonbeverage alcohols sold in 17 Russian cities in 2007. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 33: 79-85.

GOST. (2006). Russian State Standard R 51652-2000. Rectified ethyl alcohol of food raw material. Specifications. Moscow: Russian Federation.

Huckenbeck W, Freudenstein P, Jeszenszky E and Scheil HG. (2003). Congeners in spirits produced by moonshine distillers. Blutalkohol 40: 294-301.

Jargin S. (2010). Letter from Russia: minimal price for vodka established in Russia from 1 January 2010. Alcohol Alcohol 45: 586-588.

Khaltourina DA, and Korotayev AV. (2008). Potential for alcohol policy to decrease the mortality crisis in Russia. Eval Health Prof 31: 272-281.

Lachenmeier DW. (2007a). Rapid quality control of spirit drinks and beer using multivariate data analysis of Fourier transform infrared spectra. Food Chem 101: 825-832.

Lachenmeier DW, Frank W and Kuballa T. (2005). Application of tandem mass spectrometry combined with gas chromatography to the routine analysis of ethyl carbamate in stone-fruit spirits. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 19: 108-112.

Lachenmeier DW, Ganss S, Rychlak B, Rehm J, Sulkowska U, Skiba M and Zatonski W. (2009a). Association between quality of cheap and unrecorded alcohol products and public health consequences in Poland. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 33: 1757-1769.

Lachenmeier DW, Humpfer E, Fang F, Schütz B, Dvortsak P, Sproll C and Spraul M. (2009b). NMR-spectroscopy for nontargeted screening and simultaneous uantification of health-relevant compounds in foods: The Example of Melamine. J Agric Food Chem 57: 7194-7199.

Lachenmeier DW, Monakhova YB, Samokhvalov AV and Rehm J. (2011a). Causality between polyhexamethylene-guanidine occurance in unrecorded alcohol and cholestatic hepatitis outbreak in Russia. Clin Toxicol. [in press] doi:10.3109/15563650.2011.646355.

Lachenmeier DW, and Musshoff F. (2004). Volatile congeners in alcoholic beverages. Retrospective trends, batch comparisons and current concentration ranges. Rechtsmed 14: 454-462.

Lachenmeier DW, Rehm J and Gmel G. (2007b). Surrogate alcohol: what do we know and where do we go? Alcohol Clin Exp Res 31: 1613-1624.

Lachenmeier DW, Samokhvalov AV, Leitz J, Schoeberl K, Kuballa T, Linskiy IV, Minko OI and Rehm J. (2010). The composition of unrecorded alcohol from eastern Ukraine: Is there a toxicological concern beyond ethanol alone? Food Chem Toxicol 48: 2842-2847.

Lachenmeier DW, Sarsh B and Rehm J. (2009c). The composition of alcohol products from markets in Lithuania and Hungary, and potential health consequences: A pilot study. Alcohol Alcohol 44: 93-102.

Lachenmeier DW, Schoeberl K, Kanteres F, Kuballa T, Sohnius E-M and Rehm J. (2011b). Is contaminated unrecorded alcohol a health problem in the European Union? A review of existing and methodological outline for future studies. Addiction 106(Suppl.1): 20-30.

Lachenmeier DW, Sohnius E-M, Attig R and López MG. (2006). Quantification of selected volatile constituents and anions in Mexican Agave spirits (Tequila, Mezcal, Sotol, Bacanora). J Agric Food Chem 54: 3911-3915.

Lachenmeier DW, Taylor B and Rehm J. (2011c). Alcohol under the radar: Do we have policy options regarding unrecorded alcohol? Int J Drug Policy 22: 153-160.

Lang K, Väli M, Szücs S, Ádány R and McKee M. (2006). The composition of surrogate and illegal alcohol products in Estonia. Alcohol Alcohol 41: 446-450.

Leon DA, Shkolnikov VM and McKee M. (2009). Alcohol and Russian mortality: A continuing crisis. Addiction 104: 1630-1636.

Lieber CS. (1988). Biochemical and molecular basis of alcohol-induced injury to liver and other tissues. N Engl J Med 319: 1639-1650.

Makarov VK, and Ryasenskii DS. (2009). Assessments of effects produced by taking in polymethyleneguanidine hydrochloride on lipid composition of blood serum. Toksikol Vest 3: 18-21.

McKee M, Süzcs S, Sárváry A, Ádany R, Kiryanov N, Saburova L, Tomkins S, Andreev E and Leon DA. (2005). The composition of surrogate alcohols consumed in Russia. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 29: 1884-1888.

Monakhova YB, Kuballa T, Leitz J and Lachenmeier DW. (2011). Determination of diethyl phthalate and polyhexamethylene guanidine in surrogate alcohol from Russia. Int J Anal Chem 2011: Article ID 704795.

Nemtsov AV. (1998). Alcohol-related harm and alcohol consumption in Moscow before, during and after a major anti-alcohol campaign. Addiction 93: 1501-1510.

Nemtsov AV. (2000). Estimates of total alcohol consumption in Russia, 1980-1994. Drug Alcohol Depend 58: 133-142.

Nemtsov. (2002). Alcohol-related human losses in Russia in the 1980s and 1990s. Addiction 97: 1413-1425.

Nuzhnyi V. (2004). Chemical composition, toxic, and organoleptic properties of noncommercial alcohol samples, in: Moonshine Markets. Issues in unrecorded alcohol beverage production and consumption (Haworth A and Simpson R, eds), 177-199. New York: Brunner-Routledge.

Ostapenko YN, Brusin KM, Zobnin YV, Shchupak AY, Vishnevetskiy MK, Sentsov VG, Novikova OV, Alekseenko SA, Lebed'ko OA and Puchkov YB. (2011). Acute cholestatic liver injury caused by polyhexamethyleneguanidine hydrochloride admixed to ethyl alcohol. Clin Toxicol 49: 471-477.

Paine AJ, and Dayan AD. (2001). Defining a tolerable concentration of methanol in alcoholic drinks. Hum Exp Toxicol 20: 563-568.

Popova S, Rehm J, Patra J and Zatonski W. (2007). Comparing alcohol consumption in central and eastern Europe to other European countries. Alcohol Alcohol 42: 465-473.

Pridemore WA, Tomkins S, Eckhardt K, Kiryanov N and Saburova L. (2010). A case-control analysis of socio-economic and marital status differentials in alcohol- and non-alcohol-related mortality among working-age Russian males. Eur J Public Health 20: 569-575.

Razvodovsky Y. (2009). Alcohol poisoning and cardiovascular mortality in Russia 1956-2005. Alcoholism 45: 27-42.

Rehm J, Patra J, Baliunas D, Popova S, Roerecke M and Taylor B. (2008). Alcohol, The burden of disease of., in International Encyclopedia of Public Health (Vol. 1) (Heggenhougen K and Quah S, eds), 135-151. San Diego: Academic Press.

Rehm J, Room R, Monteiro M, Gmel G, Graham K, Rehn N, Sempos CT, Frick U and Jernigan D. (2004). Alcohol use, in Comparative Quantification of Health Risks. Global and Regional Burden of Disease Attributable to Selected Major Risk Factors. Volume 1 (Ezzati M, Lopez AD, Rodgers A and Murray CJL, eds), 959-1108. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Rehm J, Sulkowska U, Manczuk M, Boffetta P, Powles J, Popova S and Zatonski W. (2007). Alcohol accounts for a high proportion of premature mortality in central and eastern Europe. Int J Epidemiol 36: 458-467.

Rehm J, Taylor B, Mohapatra S, Irving H, Baliunas D, Patra J and Roerecke M. (2010). Alcohol as a risk factor for liver cirrhosis - a systematic review and meta-analysis. Drug Alcohol Rev 29: 437-445.

Rehm J, Mathers C, Popova S, Thavorncharoensap M, Teerawattananon Y and Patra J. (2009). Global burden of disease and injury and economic cost attributable to alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders. Lancet 373: 2223-2233.

Savchuk SA, Kolesov GM and Nuzhnyi VP. (2007). Chromatographic study of the chemical composition and potential toxicity of spirits and alcoholic beverages. J Anal Chem 62: 575-582.

Savchuk SA, Nuzhnyi VP and Kolesov GM. (2006). Factors affecting the accuracy of the determination of diethyl phthalate in vodka, ethanol, and samples of illegal alcoholic products. J Anal Chem 61: 1198-1203.

Secretan B, Straif K, Baan R, Grosse Y, El Ghissassi F, Bouvard V, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Guha N, Freeman C, Galichet L and Cogliano V. (2009). A review of human carcinogens - Part E: tobacco, areca nut, alcohol, coal smoke, and salted fish. Lancet Oncol 10: 1033-1034.

Shield KD, Rehm M, Patra J, Sornpaisarn B and Rehm J. (2011). Global and country specific adult per capita consumption of alcohol, 2008. Sucht 57: 99-117.

Solodun YuV, Klevno VA, Lelyukh TD, Maslauskaite LS, Yaverbaum AP, Ermolaeva NB, Zobnin YuV, Provado IP, Kuchina EV and Bogomolova IN. (2008). Forensic-medical evaluation of toxic hepatitis associated with surrogate alcohol poisoning. Sud Med Ekspert 51: 23-28.

Stickley A, Razvodovsky Y and McKee M. (2009). Alcohol mortality in Russia: A historical perspective. Public Health 123: 20-26.

Szücs S, Sárváry A, McKee M and Ádány R. (2005). Could the high level of cirrhosis in central and eastern Europe be due partly to the quality of alcohol consumed? An exploratory investigation. Addiction 100: 536-542.

Tsisanova ES, and Salomatin EM. (2010). Forensic chemical investigation of alcohol-containing liquids doped with polyhexamethylene guanidine hydrochloride and diethylphthalate. Sud Med Ekspert: 33-37.

US EPA. (2003). Diethyl phthalate (CASRN 84-66-2). Integrated Risk Information System. Washington, DC. Available Online: http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0226.htm

WHO. (2003). Diethyl Phthalate. Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 52. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

WHO. (2011a). Global Information System on Alcohol and Health (GISAH). Geneva, Switzerland. www.who.int/globalatlas/default.asp

WHO. (2011b). Global status report on alcohol and health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

Yushkov BG, Sencov VG, Bogdanov SI, Tyumenceva NV, Medvedeva SU, Danilova IG, Gafarova RK, Gette IF, Krohina NB, Zobnini UV and Zilberman FA. (2011). Influence of polyhexamethyleneguanidine hydrochloride and CCl4 on structured-functional dates of the rat's liver in process of the shaping sharp hepatitis toxic genesis. Vest Ural Med Nauki 4: 114-118.

Zaigraev G. (2004). The Russian model of noncommercial alcohol composition., in Moonshine market: issues in unrecorded alcohol beverage production and consumption (Haworth, A and R Simpsoneds), 31-40. New York and Hove: Brunner-Routledge.

Zaigraev G. (2009). Alcoholism and drunkenness in Russia. Way out of the crisis situation. Sociol issled 8: 74-84.

Zaridze D, Brennan P, Boreham J, Boroda A, Karpov R, Lazarev A, Konobeevskaya I, Igitov V, Terechova T, Boffetta P and Peto R. (2009). Alcohol and cause-specific mortality in Russia: A retrospective case-control study of 48 557 adult deaths. Lancet 373: 2201-2214.

Zatonski W, Manczuk M, Sulkowska U and HEM project team (Eds.). (2008). Closing the health gap in the European Union. Warsaw, Poland [available from: http://hem.waw.pl/index.php?idm=87,139&cmd=1]: Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Division. The Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology. http://hem.waw.pl/index.php?idm=87,139&cmd=1

Interdisciplinary Toxicology

The Journal of Institute of Experimental Pharmacology of Slovak Academy of Sciences

Journal Information


CiteScore 2018: 1.78

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.274
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.671

Cited By

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 406 286 24
PDF Downloads 140 110 10