Warning over cheap booze which can blind you
DRINKERS have been warned after the discovery of fake vodka containing "alarming" levels of a liquid which can cause blindness.
More than 40 bottles of vodka were seized from a shop in the Broadmarsh Centre – with some of them having a level of methanol 27 times the maximum permitted level.
Methanol is used in antifreeze and can cause serious damage to health, including blindness.
Sarah Houlton, manager at county trading standards, said: "We've seen a sharp rise in the amount of counterfeit alcohol seized in the last 12 months, which is very worrying – especially given the potential health risks it poses to unsuspecting people."
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Dr Joanna Copping, consultant in public health medicine at NHS Nottingham City, said symptoms of methanol poisoning included confusion, sickness and abdominal pain and, in serious cases, could lead to blindness and even death.
She said: "Anyone with these symptoms who suspects they have recently drunk counterfeit alcohol should seek medical advice."
Six bottles of Arctic Ice vodka taken by city trading standards officers from the Premier General Store in the Broadmarsh Centre had these high levels of methanol, described as "alarming" in a city council report. The booze had been bought for cash by the licence holder from a man who just turned up at the shop.
City trading standards manager Jane Bailey said: "This is somebody, a 'white van man', who arrives on the doorstep selling very cheap alcohol. We believe people who buy from these sources know what they are doing."
Sharon Gayle, 45, of Long Eaton, said she had contacted trading standards after falling ill when she bought around ten 35cl bottles of Arctic Ice vodka from Premier General Store, in Tanners Walk, over a period of 10 months.
She said she had felt dizzy and had vomited, and her eyesight had deteriorated to the point where she needed stronger glasses.
She said: "What's happened to me is shocking, I fear it could have killed me. I'm worried I might lose my eyesight."
Cethan Patel, 36, licence holder at the Broadmarsh store, said: "I thought the man selling me the alcohol was a genuine businessman. I didn't know how dangerous the vodka was."