Consultant to concerned residents: N.J. radiopharmaceutical facility not a threat

Consultant to concerned residents: N.J. radiopharmaceutical facility not a threat

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Patrick McDermott, a Rutgers University scientist who specializes in ionized radiation, has said a radiopharmaceutical factory scheduled to open soon in Millburn, N.J., poses no health risks to the area. McDermott was hired back in October 2015 to assess the safety of the factory and reported his findings this week.

The factory in question is owned by Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA) and will be used to manufacture the drug Lutathera, which is prescribed to treat cancer. Lutathera is manufactured with a radioactive material, Lutetium, and many residents were worried about the potential side effects that material could have on the surrounding area.

McDermott spoke to representatives from AAA, reviewed their production process, and looked over their license applications, according to a report from NorthJersey.com.

“It's a relatively boring license,” McDermott said, as quoted by the publication. “They do one thing, and they ship it out. The FDA drives what they can and can't do.”

McDermott told Millburn’s Township Committee, which originally hired him to perform the assessment, that he ran various worst-case scenarios in his evaluation, but could not come up with any serious threats to the area.

“I can't rig (the scenarios) enough so I can get an amount to hurt you,” McDermott said, as reported by NorthJersey.com.

More information about the AAA facility, including McDermott’s full report, are available on Millburn’s website.