Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/248

portions. This is clearly shown by its chemical formula, ${\displaystyle CH_{3}OH}$. But it is a dangerous poison, and numerous cases are on record of deaths due to its being mistaken for ethyl alcohol. This mistake occurs easily. A man asked a druggist for a bottle of good alcohol. The druggist understood him to say wood alcohol. The customer took his purchase home, drank it and died. Moreover, there is something particularly horrible about the action of wood alcohol. Numerous instances are on record proving that the substance has a specific effect on the optic nerve. After complete recovery from dangerous doses of methyl alcohol, in the course of a few days, patients have become totally blind. It is desirable that these facts should be as widely known as possible, since denatured alcohol is required by law to contain 10 per cent, of this poison.