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Secondhand Chemotherapy as a Potential Risk to Pregnant Women

Everyone knows about secondhand smoke — the danger to non-smokers of inhaling tobacco fumes. Now there are warnings that chemotherapy drugs might be endangering the health of everyone involved along the chain from manufacture to infusion and beyond. Not only are drug company personnel and the pharmacists who compound these drugs at risk, but nurses, the friends and family who care for cancer patients, and the population in general.

Pharma-Cycle, a company that manufactures a kit to capture and dispose of secondhand chemotherapy, is pressing Massachusetts to pass legislation to create a commission to study the potential danger. Such a commission has already been created in Rhode Island. Pharma-Cycle’s kit includes receptacles to contain cancer patient’s toilet waste and provide for recycling these wastes to Pharma-Cycle for safe disposal. Pharma-Cycle has a financial interest, of course, in recognizing and exploiting this potential risk.

That risk is that chemotherapy drugs are attracted to fast-growing cells, which include cancer cells but also fetal tissue, and that these drugs remain active sometimes 48 hours after ingestion.

The American Cancer Society has guidelines for chemotherapy patients and their caregivers. Please see:

Exposure to dangerous chemicals and drugs during pregnancy may be a cause of birth injuries. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney with an understanding of birth defects and injuries to assess any potential claim.

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