NASHVILLE — A deadly concoction called "dewshine," could be to blame for the deaths of two Tennessee teenagers, whose cases are among the first reported in this state, according to health officials.
Four cases, all originating in Robertson County, Tenn., so far involving the possible consumption of "dewshine" according to Donna Seger, medical director of the Tennessee Poison Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
On Thursday, authorities were called to the home of Logan Stephenson, 16, who was found dead in his bed.
Within minutes, they were called to a second home because the boy’s best friend had begun having seizures, Greenbrier Police Chief K.D. Smith said. Authorities have not released the name of the second teen.
Here's what dewshine is made of, and what can happen to those who drink it.
What is dewshine?
Homemade "dewshine" is a mixture of Mountain Dew and racing fuel.
Racing fuel, used in drag racing, consists of almost 100% methanol, a non-drinkable form of alcohol used for industrial and automotive purposes, Seger said.
What are the side effects of drinking methanol?
Initially, methanol can give the same effects as ethanol, which is used in the production of alcoholic beverages, but over time, it can result in symptoms ranging from blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to seizures, blindness, coma and death, depending on the amount and concentration of the methanol that was consumed, Seger said.
Methanol is extremely poisonous and as little as 2 tablespoons can be deadly to a child, according to the National Institutes of Health website.
About 2 to 8 ounces can be deadly for an adult, and the success of treatment is often determined by how much poison a person swallowed and how soon he or she received medical attention, the website said.
Heath workers are not aware of how prevalent dewshine consumption is among Tennesseans, Seger said.
Follow Nicole Young on Twitter: @nyoung80