Comblab project finished in December 2014. In this website you can download Comblab teaching materials ready to be used in several languages. Currently most Comblab partners go on working with MBL for secondary science.
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LOOKING FOR TOXIC METHANOL - Trace the silent killer in alcoholic drinks
In 2012, the Czech Republic was paralyzed by „The methanol affair“. Some manufacturers of alcoholic drinks at black market, to avoid of paying the high consumption tax, added methanol into the alcoholic drinks instead of ethanol due to similarity in taste and smell. By this method, they prepared alcoholic beverages significantly cheaper. Unfortunately, the methanol is highly toxic compound. Their ignorance of chemistry and toxicology knowledge, however, was fatal. In consequence, more than 50 people died and much more experienced health problems or permanent damage of people health was observed. With the affair, also neighbouring countries were affected, especially Poland and Slovakia. In addition to that, several million bottles with alcoholic drinks with uncertain content remained at the market. To withdraw the bottles containing the toxic methanol, and also as evidence against the people who spread out the dangerous drinks with alcohol, the suitable analysis of presence (and content) of methanol (in presence of ethanol) was necessary. As the most important method, a gas chromatography has been employed.
Become a member of specialized team on investigation of methanol affair! Analyze a sample with unknown mixture and find out whether there is the toxic methanol. Help to investigators trace people responsible for methanol affair. You are an expert with necessary knowledge and you should analyze unknown sample from store of suspect using one of the most important method of forensic analysis.