February 1980

Moonshine-Related Arsenic Poisoning

Author Affiliations

From the Nephrology Section, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta (Drs Gerhardt and Hudson), and the Battelle Pacific Northwest Division Marine Research Laboratory, Sequim, Wash (Dr Crecelius). Dr Gerhardt is now with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia.

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(2):211-213. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330140069020

• Twelve sequential cases of arsenic poisoning were reviewed for possible sources of ingestion. Contaminated illicit whiskey (moonshine) appeared to be the source in approximately 50% of the patients. An analysis of confiscated moonshine revealed that occasional specimens contained high levels of arsenic as a contaminant. Although arsenic poisoning occurs relatively infrequently, contaminated moonshine may be an important cause of the poisoning in some areas of the country.

(Arch Intern Med 140:211-213, 1980)