The poison methanol is a colourless liquid with a mild alcohol odour. Some say it smells a little like nail varnish, but on a night out you’re not likely to notice until it’s too late.
It’s extremely poisonous and is known to cause blindness, kidney failure, seizures and death.
The chemical is deliberately added to strengthen alcoholic drinks. It is being sold in bars, shops and hotels in popular tourist areas such as Bali, Lombok and Sumatra. All popular destinations for our Aussie and Kiwi readers.
Illegal alcohol has become a common problem in many parts of the world, but Indonesia has become a real concern due to 280 deaths since 2011.
Some fake alcohol on sale in Indonesia has been found to contain concentrations of methanol 44,000 times above safe levels.
We don’t want to be a killjoy, but for the time being it’s advisable to watch what you drink when on a night out.