Blinded by Science


Depending on the concentration, alcohol can cause a significant (though self-limiting) keratitis with an associated inflammation of the ocular surface structures. Isopropyl alcohol, methanol and ethanol can all induce this type of ocular injury. This means that everything from hairspray to vodka is a potential ocular irritant. The severity of the burn depends on the concentration of the liquid and whether there are other potentially toxic additives.