What Exactly is Oplosan?

By Rofi Uddarojat

You might have heard the term of “oplosan”. It’s a common term used in the media and in conversation. But the term “oplosan” is actually a misconception.

But the term “oplosan” is actually a misconception.

When people get intoxicated or die after consuming ‘oplosan’, the media tends to assume victims drank ‘oplosan’, which is a term generally used for bootleg liquor that is highly dangerous.

Bootleg liquor is not the same with legally produced alcohol that goes through quality control and the government’s supervision. Bootleg liquors – including oplosan usually contains non-food ingredients that cannot be consumed.

However, bootleg liquors are categorized on how they are produced and what ingredients they contain.

There is a moonshine alcohol, homemade drinks produced with the distillation process. There is also a counterfeit alcohol, a branded alcohol with fake alcohol ingedients. A smuggled alcohol is also included as branded alcohol without paying custom-excise taxes. And the oplosan, a Javanese term for alcohol, which is made by mixing ingredients that have not gone through the distillation process and usually contains non-food ingredients such as methyl alcohol and non-food ethyl alcohol.

Except non-tax smuggled alcohol, bootleg liquor significantly contributes to a tremendous risk for public health and safety.

Except non-tax smuggled alcohol, bootleg liquor significantly contributes to a tremendous risk for public health and safety. Since there is no quality control on the production process and safety of ingredients cannot be guaranteed.

Health problems such losing vision, organ failure, or even death are what people experience when consuming bootleg liquor, as a result of dangerous non-food ingredients mixed into the drink.

We need proper policies to address the threat of  bootleg liquor to public health and saftey. It is important to impose licencing and supervision to ensure that all alcohol beverages are safe. This includes traditional alcohol commonly made throughout Java, Sumatera and Sulawesi, which needs to be properly supervised so that they do not have the same fatal results as bootleg liquor.