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Pharma and Smelly Pallets – It's

Pharma and Smelly Pallets

There has now been a period of time since the flurry of sensationalized news reports about wood pallets and their relationship with pharma recalls over the last few years, and a recently released PDA technical report has been published to provide guidance on how to detect and mitigate TBA and TCA odors and taints. Bottom line, in the increasingly global supply chain, the oft overlooked pallet can no longer be taken for granted.
The report offers a variety of conclusions with respect to risk mitigation steps.

These include:

  • Not using pallets constructed from TBP treated lumber
  • Controlling the moisture content of wood to levels not conducive to fungal growth
  • Improving supply chain awareness of haloanisole taints
  • Eliminating other sources of halophenols
  • Providing adequate environmental control and ventilation in warehouses and during transportation.

It also stresses that this is not a toxicity issue, but if the smell has an adverse affect, for example, of patients taking their medication, then it is a matter of concern.
“Finally,” the Task Force paper concludes, “it is up to the pharmaceutical and consumer product manufacturer to understand their pallet supplier(s), classify them appropriately, and work with the supplier’s controls on pallet manufacturing. Companies should implement internal pallet controls to minimize risks from TBA (TCA) tainting accordingly as noted in the PDA Technical Report.”
What would you like to say about this? Is this an issue for Pharma or common to many industries?