SC lawmaker working on bill to ban powdered alcohol - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SC lawmaker working on bill to ban powdered alcohol

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Concerns over the safety of a new product known as powdered alcohol prompted federal regulators to pull approval of the product last month.

But medical experts and South Carolina lawmakers disagree about just how dangerous the product is.

"It's going to be let loose literally on our citizenry," said State Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens. "This could be ingested by children, we know alcohol poisoning is a real problem."

In an online video, the creator of the Palcohol said it's not as dangerous as some believe.

"Palcohol is not some super concentrated form of alcohol," said creator of Palcohol Mark Phillips. "It's simply one shot of alcohol in powdered form."

Concerns over the exact concentration of alcohol in the product and how it can abused also have fueled the suppression effort.

"I have been absolutely amazed at what young people will put up their noses or down their throats without knowing what they're doing," said Laura Hudson with SC Crime Victims' Council. "South Carolina is between number 1 and 7 every year with fatalities involving alcohol. This would just add to it."

Phillips said snorting it is very painful.

"It burns a lot!" Phillips said. "It's just like liquid alcohol. It'll be sold in the same establishments and only adults 21 years older with proper identification can buy it."

One Midlands medical expert disagree with many of the claims lawmakers are making about the product.

"It would be no different from them getting their hands on a mini bottle or beer or wine," said Dr. Jimmy Williams.

The man spearheading the restriction effort said at this point, it's better to be safe than sorry.

"I know we don't' have time right now to answer all those questions, so we should ban it and come back to it next session," Martin said.

This late in the legislative session, it's uncertain whether a ban will make it on the books before palcohol makes it to liquor store shelves.

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