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Treatment for Methanol and antifreeze

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Treatment for antifreeze poisoning or methanol poisoning generally includes administering ethanol. Why is this effective in combating poisoning by either of these molecules? What is it about methanol and antifreeze that makes it toxic to animals?

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Solution Summary

Discusses the reasons why methanol/antifreeze is toxic.

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When methanol or ethylene glycol (antifreeze) are ingested, they are metabolized by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. Upon action of the enzyme, methanol is converted to formaldehyde, and eventually to formate. High formate level causes acidosis which is fatal. In the latter stages of intoxication, lactic acid can also accummulate when formate inhibits the electron transport chain. On the other hand, ...

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