Methanol (CH3OH)—also referred to as methyl alcohol, wood spirits, or wood alcohol—is used widely in commercial, industrial, and marine solvents. It is a component of many paint removers, varnishes, shellacs, windshield washing fluids, and antifreeze formulations. It is a product of wood distillation. Methanol poisoning has resulted from the consumption of contaminated whiskey, accidental ingestion by desperate alcoholics, or intentional ingestion during suicide attempts. Methanol's toxicity is due to the formation of two toxic metabolites, formaldehyde and formic acid. Therapeutic strategies are therefore based on prevention of the formation of these metabolites or their removal from the body.

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