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by Wendy Stackhouse · June 25, 2012

Mold in Drug Manufacturing Plant May Lead to Shortages for Cancer Patients

A Canadian factory has been closed down due to mold contamination.

We talk a lot on the blog about mold in your home—in bathrooms, inside walls and other inaccessible places—mold that affects everyone’s daily life. But this week we came across a story of mold that could affect the already suffering—cancer patients.

The company is Sanofi Pasteur and their Toronto, Ontario manufacturing plant makes ImmuCyst, a leading drug for treatment of bladder cancer. The factory experienced a flood last month which led to damage and clearly was not entirely cleaned up afterwards. Health inspectors found evidence of mold and suspended production due to the danger of contamination of the medications made at the facility.

Mold is everywhere there is water and generally is not a huge problem, but where a sterile environment must be maintained, like in a healthcare facility or a chemical plant, the consequences of a mold incursion can be catastrophic. In this case, it may even be catastrophic to third parties who will not be able to receive the best treatment for their bladder cancer.

Cancer patients in the US and Canada are already facing a shortage of drugs. This factory suspending their production for mold will not make that any better.

When you have experienced a flood, whether it is in your home or your business, drying the flooded area should be a very high priority. Mold spores are everywhere and need very little opportunity—and moisture—to grow and thrive. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow. The quickest and safest way to dry out after a flood or a leak is by using high heat. Alliance offers ThermaPureHeat to dry construction and flood scenes, as well as to kill mold and its spores if more time has passed. If you need your home or other building to be dry right now anywhere in California, contact Alliance for ThermaPureHeat! If Sanofi Pasteur had called us, they might still be open!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!

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