Methanol (General Use)

26th October 2018

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An image showing Methanol (General Use) in a 2.5litre container

Looking for Methanol for General Use?

  • We supply methanol for general use in 2.5L and 25L containers, as well as 200L drums, with discounts available for bulk orders
  • MSDS can be downloaded from website
  • We also offer further options with all our products, including custom packaging and personalised labelling

Methanol’s toxicity: what happens in the human body?

Unlike ethanol, even as little as 10ml of pure methanol can be highly toxic if ingested and 30 ml can be fatal. This alcohol is dangerous in two different ways: by its direct action on the central nervous system and after conversion to formic acid. Initially, after ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin, methanol has a depressant effect on the nervous system similar to ethanol poisoning, but with more permanent consequences.

A few hours after the initial exposure, methanol is then converted to formic acid in the liver. This mechanism involves a two-step reaction:

  • Step 1: Conversion of methanol to formaldehyde by alcohol dehydrogenase
  • Step 2: Conversion of formaldehyde to formic acid by aldehyde dehydrogenase

Formic acid can cause metabolic acidosis as well as disrupt cellular metabolism, leading to a variety of metabolic conditions. Treatment involves administering ethanol or fomepizole, which limit enzyme action, so that methanol can be excreted before being converted to formic acid.

What are the symptoms of methanol intoxication?

Initial symptoms include (direct impact on the central nervous system):

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Lack of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness and death after exposure to large amounts

Secondary symptoms (from conversion to formic acid, developing about 10 to 30 hours after exposure)

  • Blurred or complete loss of vision
  • Dilated pupils and retinal oedema
  • Acidosis
  • Respiratory failure

Fast delivery

Most orders are usually shipped within 24 hours after purchase to ensure a speedy delivery. If you need any assistance, simply contact a member of staff for further information and free technical advice. In addition to methanol for general use, we also offer for analytical and laboratory uses, with a higher degree of purity.

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