of thumb often cited in Russian medical sources is that 0.5 liter of 40 percent vodka consumed by a healthy adult male of average weight without food in less than an hour would be fatal. On the other hand, an infant might die from drinking as little as an ounce of vodka. Generally speaking, wine and beer are much less dangerous because of their lower alcohol content. Wine and beer impurities and toxins present in some alcoholic beverages, particularly in poorly filtered distilled beverages, increase the dangers.

  • 18.  

    Ranking 72 regions of Russia by rates of death from alcohol poisoning for four years for which the data are available (1985, 1986, 1989, and 1990) and comparing rankings for pairs of years produces Spearman rank coefficients varying from +0.7 to +0.9.

  • 19.  

    The alarmingly high levels of fatal alcohol poisoning were completely ignored in the former Soviet Union or, when mentioned at all, were attributed to samogon.

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