The recent voluntary recall by its manufacturer (McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson and Johnson) of the over-the-counter ( OTC) arthritis pain reliever Tylenol has led to a series of heated exchanges among industry executives. Tylenol caplets were massively recalled in the midst of reports that customers detected an unpleasant odor that resembled the pills emitting mildew. A few consumers have reported to the United States Food and Drug Administration had experienced severe effects such as fatigue, chest discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea since taking the pills. Following consultation with the FDA, McNeil decided to immediately withdraw the product from sale while its scientists investigated possible causes. You may want to check out Wooden Pallet for more.
The controversy appears to have been sparked by McNeil’s press release explaining the recall, in which reports that consumers had become unwell upon taking the product seemed to be downplaying. The organization said all the incidents witnessed that came to its notice were ‘temporary and non-serious.’ In subsequent analysis the culprit was identified as the trace of a breakdown product from a chemical used to treat pallets of wooden storage-2,4,6-tribromoanisole. However, the wording of the company was somewhat ambiguous-it is believed that the responsible substance was a breakdown product, a choice of words that could be taken to imply that McNeil was not entirely sure that this was the case when they issued the statement.
A corporation producing hard plastic pallets (Bob Moore of Intelligent Global Pooling Systems, or iGPS)’s chief executive opposed the usage of wooden pallets in the transport and storing of foods and medication goods. Wooden pallets have to be treated to preserve the wood; a treatment claimed by Moore involves the use of harmful pesticides and other chemicals such as urea formaldehyde; The latter is known to have carcinogenic properties, and as it ‘off-gases’ releases traces into the air. The usage of processed wooden pallets raises the possibility of pollution not just with the items that are placed on them, but also for employees who need to travel about.
Moreover, according to Mr. Moore, wooden pallets are often fumigated with methyl bromide (an exceptionally poisonous compound that also depletes the ozone layer) and are often extremely dirty-his company detected high levels of pathogenic organisms such as Listeria and even rodent nests when randomly tested wooden pallets commissioned by the firm.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that opioid medications destroy close to 40,000 Americans per year, with OTC treatments causing many thousand additional casualties. In the light of these facts, Mr. Moore’s request for legislation on the usage of wooden pallets in relation to food and drug goods by the FDA and Congress appears eminently rational. Although there is a small amount that can be done to avoid unintended harmful effects that any people have to OTC and pharmaceutical medications, ensuring sure such goods are delivered in the best, cleanest manner imaginable may be just fair.