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May 30, 2022 View:

Alcohol poisoning deaths in Russia down by a quarter in 2017

Russia's consumer safety watchdog says alcohol poisoning deaths fell by a quarter last year as a result of state measures to control the consumption of counterfeit alcohol.

Image from: Chinese and foreign grapes and wines

In December 2016, there was a mass fatal poisoning in Siberia, and the culprit was a high alcohol content body wash. As a result, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev"s order suspended retail sales of non-food items containing alcohol in Russia from December 2016 to April 19, 2018.

In the former Soviet Union, such cheap everyday products were consumed as a substitute for drinking alcohol. The 2-year-long Western economic sanctions have made the situation increasingly serious, with analysts noting that up to 12 million Russians drink cheap alcoholic products, including perfume, facial moisturizer, antifreeze and window cleaners. As a result, cases of poisoning of drinkers also often occur because these substitutes use the toxic ingredient methanol.

The Russian Federal Service for Monitoring Consumer Human Rights and Personal Safety (Rospotrebnadzor) said in a statement that following state measures, the number of alcohol poisoning deaths decreased by a quarter (26%) in 2017 compared to previous years.

The watchdog said the ban on the sale of these cheap alcohol-containing products was extended for another six months from April 20.