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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2090-2101; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082090
Article

The Quality of Alcohol Products in Vietnam and Its Implications for Public Health

1,* , 2
, 3,4,5
 and 3,4,6
1 Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Strasse 3, 76187 Karlsruhe, Germany 2 HealthBridge Vietnam, No. 15-16, 232 Lane, Ton Duc Thang Street, Dong Da District Hanoi, Vietnam 3 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), 33 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2S1, Canada 4 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 55 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 3M7, Canada 5 Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, 246 Bloor Street W, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A1, Canada 6 Institute for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Chemnitzer Strasse 46, 01187 Dresden, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 June 2009 / Accepted: 20 July 2009 / Published: 27 July 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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Abstract

Four homemade (artisanally manufactured and unrecorded) and seven commercial (industrially manufactured and taxed) alcohol products from Vietnam were collected and chemically analyzed for toxicologically relevant substances. The majority of both types had alcohol contents between 30 and 40% vol. Two homemade samples contained significantly higher concentrations of 45 and 50% vol. In one of these homemade samples the labeled alcoholic strength was exceeded by nearly 20% vol. All other analyzed constituents of the samples (e.g., methanol, acetaldehyde, higher alcohols, esters, metals, anions) were found in concentrations that did not pose a threat to public health. A peculiarity was a homemade sample of alcohol with pickled snakes and scorpions that contained 77% vol of alcohol, allegedly used as traditional Chinese medicine. Based on this small sample, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that alcohol quality, beyond the effects of ethanol, has an influence on health in Vietnam. However, future research with larger samples is needed.
Keywords: alcoholic beverages; Vietnam; unrecorded alcohol; product quality; alcohol poisoning; traditional Chinese medicine alcoholic beverages; Vietnam; unrecorded alcohol; product quality; alcohol poisoning; traditional Chinese medicine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lachenmeier, D.W.; Anh, P.T.H.; Popova, S.; Rehm, J. The Quality of Alcohol Products in Vietnam and Its Implications for Public Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 2090-2101.

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