Assessment of Homemade Liquor “Tharra” Quality by GC-FID and its Potential Impacts on Human Health
The unsafe use of alcohol causes many diseases that lead to social and economic burden in societies. In Pakistan due to limited access, inflated prices of standard alcohol and ban on use of alcoholic products for Muslims, the illegal Liquors “Tharra” production at domestic level is on the rise. The liquor (Tharra) contain many impurities and is often injurious to health. This study examines the impact of consumption of unsafe liquor on socio-economic and health context in Pakistan by using primary data obtained through filling of suitably designed questionnaires and finding out quality of homemade liquor samples collected from local Bathas. The data was collected by taking representative samples consisting of males from age groups 14 to onwards. The participants were enrolled using CAGE (screening tool. Our data revealed that majority of middle age group (57%) was involved in liquor “Tharra” drinking (36- 45 years and 26 – 35 years). More participants (63%) were found representing Hindu religion, followed by Muslims (31%) with few Christian (5%) in the studied area. Almost in all samples the alcoholic strength exceeded by safe volume limit (20%). All other analyzed constituents of the samples (e.g.methanol, acetaldehyde, higher alcohols, esters, metals, anions) were found in concentrations that poses serious threat to public health. It seems impossible for the government to
subsidize its prices or lift ban on the use and purchase of standard alcohol products due to social and religious reasons. However, the government needs to reinforce the laws governing sale of methylated spirits for industrial and commercial use.