U.S. FDA warns on potential contamination from Tianjin, China

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert to drug compounders and drugmakers that ingredients produced in China's Tianjin city may be contaminated by chemicals, the result of massive explosions that occurred there in August this year.

The agency in a release said it was calling for higher levels of inspections because hydrogen cyanide was found to have contaminated two drug shipments from Tianjin Tianyao Pharmaceuticals, which is actually located about 18 miles from the site of the explosion. The company also sent two other drug shipments to the United States after the explosions that were tested and cleared.

"The contaminated shipments have been stopped and will not be allowed into the United States. The FDA is working with the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) on this issue," the U.S. FDA said in its release, adding that "more than 40 different types of chemicals were discovered at the blast site."

The agency also warned that it "is the responsibility of companies that obtain drugs--including finished drug products, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and excipients--from the Tianjin city region to take appropriate precautions to ensure the quality of these products before they are distributed and/or used to further manufacture or compound drugs or drug products."

- here's the release from the FDA