The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
11 Dead, 300 Hospitalized After Drinking Poisonous Coconut Wine
Christmas celebrations turned sour when 11 people died and over 300 were hospitalized in the Philippines after drinking a batch of poisonous coconut wine, local police said on Monday.
Holiday revelers in the provinces of Laguna and Quezon, south of Manila, fell ill after drinking a wine called lambanog, a traditional Filipino alcoholic drink that is made from coconut sap. It generally has a high alcohol content of around 40 percent, and is often distilled in informal and unsanitary environments.
Those who consumed the drink were rushed to hospitals with symptoms including stomach aches, vomiting and numbness, while some collapsed and lost consciousness, according to the police report. Two were reportedly comatose before arriving at the hospital for treatment.
The deaths occurred in Rizal, a small municipality of Laguna province, between Thursday and Sunday. Rizal's mayor, Vener Munoz, told local media that two people who were in critical condition were on the mend, and that the wine had been produced there.
"All had a sad history of lambanog ingestion," Reuters quoted the local police department as saying. "Some bought for leisure drinking and birthday party, while others were donated by local officials during their Christmas party."
Last year, more than 10 people died after consuming the same drink. Jose Jonas Del Rosario, a doctor and spokesman for Manila's Philippine General Hospital, told AFP that methanol, a chemical that can cause blindness and death, is one of the byproducts of coconut wine fermentation.
Some lambanog producers choose to keep the high levels of methanol because it allows for a larger production volume and is thus more profitable, he added.
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tara Lohan
5 Biggest Pesticide Companies Are Making Billions From 'Highly Hazardous' Chemicals, Investigation Finds
By Paul Brown
Virtually all the world's demand for electricity to run transport and to heat and cool homes and offices, as well as to provide the power demanded by industry, could be met by renewable energy by mid-century.
By George Citroner
- Exposure to phthalates was associated with autism traits in boys (but not girls) between ages 3 and 4 years, according to a new study.
- However, the risk was diminished in women who took folic acid during their pregnancy.
- This study is the first to find that folic acid supplements provide a protective effect from phthalates.
Exposure in the womb to a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates was associated with autism traits in boys (but not girls) between ages 3 and 4 years, according to a new study.