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If you accidentally swallow a tiny amount of 70% ethanol in a lab,

  1. Aug 4, 2010 #1
    If you accidentally swallow a tiny amount of 70% ethanol in a lab, would you put yourself at a health risk?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2010 #2


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    Re: Ethanol

    Not likely. You need to define 'tiny', however. Lab grade ethanol has been denatured. Not so good to drink. Make you sick. One professor at college used to denature his ethanol with phenolthalein. Baaad ju ju! ...and bad doo doo too.
  4. Aug 5, 2010 #3
    Re: Ethanol

    I was spraying a bottle, and more accurately a minuscule amount got in my mouth.
  5. Aug 5, 2010 #4
    Re: Ethanol

    People have been drinking it for five millennia. You need to drink close to half a liter of pure ethanol at once to put yourself in danger.

    As chemisttree pointed out though, no one knows what other nasty chemicals might be mixed in with the ethanol. Methanol is often present and it's considerably more dangerous. But still you'd probably have to drink substantial amounts (quarter of a cup?) to cause permanent harm.
  6. Aug 12, 2010 #5
    Re: Ethanol

    Half a litre!?

    That would be like drinking a about litre of something like vodka at once, and I think that would be more than enough to make you quite out of it :)

    Anyway... analytical grade ethanol isn't denatured... is it?
    It depends exactly what grade of EtOH you're using in the lab, and if it is denatured.
  7. Aug 12, 2010 #6
    Re: Ethanol

    In Russia it is considered normal for an adult to be able to drink a bottle (0.5 l) of vodka at once without experiencing any outward ill effects. For mass celebrations such as weddings, organizers would typically provide one 0.5 l bottle of vodka and at least one 0.75 l bottle of wine per attendee.

    Two bottles at once will probably knock you out, you'll sleep for 12 hours and wake up severely dehydrated and with a bad headache, but without permanent damage.

    It's quite hard to drink yourself to death, because, unless you push yourself to drink really fast, you'll pass out before you had a chance to drink the lethal dose.
  8. Aug 14, 2010 #7
    Re: Ethanol

    Some is denatured and some is not . And sometimes they denature it with methanol .
    They sell everclear in the liquor store which is 95% ethanol .
    Since you said it was 70% what is the other 30% .
  9. Aug 14, 2010 #8
    Re: Ethanol

    Is it for this reason that marriages don't last long in Russia? :smile:
  10. Aug 23, 2010 #9
    Re: Ethanol

    The other 30% would be distilled water. Its been 2 weeks, and I feel fine. It was a very small amount. The alcohol was sprayed from a bottle, and some got in my mouth.
  11. Aug 23, 2010 #10
    Re: Ethanol

    good old 140 proof
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