Safety concerns with the new denaturing kit

From Mr S. Halfhide

I have been reading with much interest the Broad spectrum article (PJ, 8/15 December 2012, p660) and subsequent letters and comments from Nader Siabi and Michael Reynolds (PJ, 5/12 January 2013, p10).

The article is more interesting for what it does not say rather than for what it does. It therefore follows that it is important that a manufacturer of denaturing kits be allowed a statement.

It is unacceptable that the article appears to discredit kits which have been in use by pharmacy professionals for many years in such a public manner. As explained by Mr Reynolds, the most popular kits are inert, safe and have never presented any security problems. Although the actual university project report details the destruction of morphine it does not include other Controlled Drugs that are not morphine-based. It is therefore an incomplete study.

My company acquired one of the kits which was subsequently recommended in a more recent letter (ibid). Included in the university project report is a reference to the combikit. It clearly states that “sodium perborate” is the oxidising agent. The datasheet confirms that sodium perborate is “aggressive” and has serious health and safety implications, including that “ with combustible material may cause fire”.

Because this is an oxidising agent it will produce large gas volumes when water is added. This pressurises the container, forcing the contents out or, at worst, forcing the lid off. Our own tests have shown that in a warm building the kit (with a tightly secured lid) will, after a few hours, blow the lid off with a large amount of the contents being expelled.

The two main kits manufactured by ourselves are inert, and present no health hazard. The standard DenKit is the one used by most pharmacies while the other, DenKit , includes a powerful aversion chemical to prevent misuse.

Stuart Halfhide

Managing Director

Denward Manufacturing Ltd

Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11117437

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