NDMA ((N-nitrosodimethylamine) is one of the dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer. High levels of NDMA have been found in medicines. Recently, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled medicines like Zantac because of the presence of high levels of NDMA in them. Metformin, a drug used for type – 2 diabetes and valsartan, a drug used to cure high blood pressure are subjected to further testing.
What are NDMA?
NDMA is a semi-volatile organic chemical. It can form naturally or unintentionally through industrial processes. Previously, it was used for production of liquid rockets fuel but that practice ended when high levels were found in air, water and soil samples near one such factory. Several patients have filled a Zantac lawsuit who have been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, valsartan and other ranitidine drugs. Shouse Law Group is one such law firms that represent victims who took Zantac medication and were then diagnosed with cancer. They are fighting to cover lost earnings, doctor’s bill and pain and suffering that the victim had to endure.
Even if the production has been officially stopped, it’s being created as a by-product of natural or manufacturing processes. For instance, many processes that produce alkylamines can produce NDMA through chemical reactions. Some of the industrial processes that involve production of alkylamines include foundries, tanneries, pesticides manufacturing plants, dye manufacturers, rubber and tire manufacturers, etc. It can also be produced as a by-product of chlorination of wastewater and drinking water at various treatment plants.
Sources of NDMA exposure
You might be exposed to NDMA through a variety of sources – consumer, occupational and environment. Some of the common sources include:
- Chewing tobacco and smoking or inhaling cigarette smoke.
- Using toiletries or shampoos that might contain NDMA.
- Consuming food that contains nitrosamines like smoked meats and fish.
- Consuming food that contains alkylamines since a chemical reaction can lead to formation of NDMA in body.
Effects and Risks associated with NDMA exposure
NDMA can be very harmful for various organs of your body including liver, kidney, bladder, lungs, stomach and pancreas. Some of the symptoms associated with such exposure are fever, vomiting, nausea, dizziness and abdominal cramps. High level of exposure can be very detrimental for liver and kidney with internal bleeding and several liver damages. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has notified that NDMA can be carcinogenic to humans. One of the professors at Stanford University implied that NDMA modifies your DNA. Some of the long-term effects to exposure include pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, cancer of esophagus, intestines and bladder, leukemia and non-hodgkin’s lymphoma.
What should be the steps ahead?
There is definitely no need to panic in such situation. Look for a medication that doesn’t contain NDMA and is equally effective. If you come across any brand that has had harmful effects on people in the past, then stop taking it immediately. There are number of online platforms where you can talk to a health specialist and find a product that suits you.