SAO PAULO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Brazil regulator ANP on Monday temporarily shut down filling stations and fuel distributors in Rio de Janeiro state after agents found they were selling methanol, a banned fuel additive that is considered a health risk.
The agency said in a statement that it detected methanol in BR Distribuidora filling stations run by the state-run oil company Petrobras, Royal-Dutch Shell Plc's stations run by joint-venture Raizen and partner Cosan and Ipiranga stations in the state.
The ANP said it is removing and reprocessing the fuel with the methanol. The agency was not available for comment late on the eve of a national holiday that starts Tuesday.
Petrobras, Raizen, Ipiranga and Shell did not respond to requests for comment.
While ethanol is the most widely used fuel in Brazil, methanol at times can be cheaper.
The ANP said it has opened an investigation that could result in fines between 20,000 reais ($5,800) to 5 million reais. It said fuel stations and resellers in the Ilha do Governador area of Rio de Janeiro state were affected. (Reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)