Comparative lethality of methanol, ethanol and mixtures in female rats

Ashraf Youssef, Kadri Madkour, Chris Cox, Bernard Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The lethalities of pure methanol and pure ethanol were compared to two mixtures of ethanol/methanol with the following percentages (95/5% and 65/35% v/v). This study was conducted to simulate situations of human exposure to denaturated alcohol (by 5% methanol) or adulterated alcohol (by 35% methanol). Four groups of female adult virgin albino rats were treated with the four mixtures. A fifth group was used as a vehicle control. Graded oral doses were given to eight animals per dose. Lethality over 24 h was used as an endpoint. The LD50 was calculated for each of the four treatments on a molar basis. A dose‐response function for each mixture was plotted of percentage lethality vs. mmol kg−1 equivalent to the given ml kg−1 dose. Results showed a significantly different LD50 estimates (P < 0.03) for the four mixtures. The order of lethal toxicity was as follows: 95/5% methanol/ethanol, pure methanol, pure ethanol then 65/35% methanol/ethanol. Slope comparisons indicated two pairs: 65/35% ethanol/methanol and pure ethanol yielding a steep slope, and 95/5% ethanol/methanol and pure methanol yielding a shallow slope. These data indicated that the acute lethality of ethanol/methanol mixtures is a complex unpredictable function. This toxicity presumably depends in a complicated way on the differences in the effective molecular weights of the two alcohols in each of the mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-197
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1992

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Keywords

  • LD
  • ethanol
  • methanol
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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