What is Methanol?
Methanol is a colorless liquid with the consistency of water. It is an alcohol that is generally used in industrial settings as a solvent.
Methanol is found in many substances. Generally, it is found in pesticides, alternative fuel sources, plastics, paints, car parts, and construction materials.
Is Methanol safe?
While methanol, like most alcohols, is flammable and an irritant, it is also much more dangerous than other alcohols such as ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. It is a toxic alcohol. It has been found to be harmful to both animals and humans if ingested or absorbed. This alcohol can be ingested or absorbed through inhalation, skin contact and eye contact. When absorbed, the body tries to break it down through a process called metabolism. During this metabolism, methanol is transformed into an acid. If this is continuous or if a large amount of methanol has been ingested or absorbed, this metabolism creates too much acid for the body to dispose of, leading to a large amount of acid to pool in the blood, which can be fatal.
So, can Methanol be used for cleaning?
The short answer: no. Due to methanol’s toxicity to both humans and animals, it is generally not permitted to be in cleaners. Not to mention, it has been proven that methanol has a very weak ability to kill both viruses and bacteria compared to other alcohols.
Recently, this alcohol has been found in hand sanitizers, some companies cheaper solution to creating hand sanitizers during the pandemic. These hand sanitizers should be avoided due to methanol’s toxicity.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) nor WHO (World Health Organization) have approved methanol for use in cleaners or sanitizers because it is toxic to both humans and animals and it simply does not work as a cleanser. Instead, it is suggested that ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are used as cleansers due to their safer nature and their increased ability to kill viruses and bacteria.
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