Bottle of methylated spirits

Bottle of methylated spirits

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Credit: MARTYN F. CHILLMAID/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Methylated spirits is a completely denatured alcohol not intended for human consumption. It contains ethanol (alcohol) that has been mixed with additives to make it undrinkable. Historically, methanol (which gave methylated spirit its name) was added as a deterrent - it is a dangerous poison that has blinded and killed people who drank it. Since 2013 the European Union dropped methanol from the formula relying on isopropyl alcohol - a chemical analytical marker; methyl ethyl ketone - an unpleasant smell; denatonium benzoate a bitter tasting agent and an aniline purple dye to deter its use as an alcoholic drink. It is used as a household cleaning agent, a solvent, and a fuel. The current UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) label indicates that this chemical is a flammable liquid (GHS02).

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Keywords: additives, analytical marker, aniline dye, bitter taste, chemical, color, colour, denatonium benzoate, denatured alcohol, ethanol, flammable liquid, formulae, fuel, household cleaning agent, isopropyl alcohol, label, methyl ethyl ketone, methylated spirits, purple

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