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publicado em 30/10/2012 às 23h06:00
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Unifesp finds toxic chemicals in clandestine drinks in MG and SP

Copper, methanol and ethyl carbamate were some of the substances found in sugar cane spirits, liqueurs and whiskeys craft

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A survey of samples of illicit alcoholic beverages, as an alembic cachaça, fake whiskeys and liqueurs handmade, seven cities of São Paulo and Minas Gerais showed the presence of toxic substances such as copper, methanol and ethyl carbamate. The study was done by the Brazilian Center for Information on Psychotropic Drugs (Cebrid), Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), with partial support from ICAP (International Center for Alcohol Policies). Besides Brazil, participated in the survey countries like Russia, China, India, Mexico and Sri Lanka.

For analyzes Brazilian, were considered 65 samples of beverages (51 cachaças only) collected in the cities of São Paulo and Diadema, a municipality located in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, during the year 2010. Of these, 61 were obtained from informal vendors and consumers. The remainder was caught directly with producers. We collect mainly [drinks] that we thought were fake, because we realized that clearly were false. When labels had had no seal of approval from the Ministry of Agriculture and the prices were very low, explained Elisaldo Carlini, Cebrid professor and coordinator of the study.

Other 87 samples (63 cachaças only) were obtained in five cities of Minas Gerais, including the capital Belo Horizonte, and cities famous for producing cachaça as Passa Quatro and Salinas. Drinks were taken between 2011 and 2012, at bars, parties and street vendors.

The study results were presented today (30) in the state capital during a symposium on the subject. According Carlini, one of the toxic elements found in the samples was methanol, a highly toxic form of alcohol and that, if ingested, can cause blindness and even lead to death, the professor explained.

Among samples

One of the more toxic elements found in the samples was methanol, highly toxic type of alcohol that can cause blindness, and even lead to death
mining, in 25 of 87 bottles was found methanol but no samples exceeded the allowed limit of 200 parts per million (ppm), said Carlini. Of the samples from São Paulo, 24 of the 54 who were taken for analysis showed toxic alcohol, but only a sample of wine index registered above the legal limit.

Another element present in beverages was copper, which can impair the absorption of minerals in the body. The element was found in 11 samples of Sao Paulo and in 15 of mining. Some were far above the legal limit of 5 ppm, reaching 26 or 27 ppm.

The ethyl carbamate, a carcinogen, was also present in 65 of the 87 drinks of Minas Gerais. In some samples, [the merger] was so great that I could know what was overstated, concludes the researcher.

Another irregularity was found that the alcohol concentration of 27 of 51 samples of Sao Paulo and 30 of 63 samples of Minas Gerais were lower than required by law. We were surprised. We do not know if this is bad or good, we only know that it is not legal.

Besides analyzing the drinks, the study surveyed 430 adults in the state of São Paulo and Minas Gerais 564. Participants were mostly men aged between 18 and 30 years, and education level between high school and university. The vast majority of respondents, 60.1% of the miners and 96.3% of São Paulo, said drinking alcohol.

The most frequent type of beverage was beer, followed by wine. Cachaça ranked third as the most consumed in Minas Gerais and fourth among the favorites of São Paulo. The reasons given for this study by the high consumption of rum were the low price and easy to drink.

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toxic substances    illegal beverages    copper    methanol    carbanato of eltila    Brazilian Center for Information on Psychotropic Drugs    Cebrid    Unifesp   
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