The professional organization for pharmacists will also investigate paracetamol that is sold in the Netherlands for carcinogenic substances, the organization reports to NRC .

This after earlier reports from the newspaper and Zembla that a paracetamol with a carcinogenic substance may have entered the Dutch market. This would be the substance 4-chloroaniline, PCA for short, in paracetamol from the Chinese producer Anqiu Lu'an Pharmaceutical.

Last week, the Health Care and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ) and the Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) announced they would test whether the signals about contaminated paracetamol are correct. Initially, they did not want to conduct an investigation because the concentration of the substance is far below the maximum limit and there would be no cause for concern.

The pharmacy association has therefore decided to conduct its own investigation. "As pharmacists we are scientifically trained and as a scientist you must always remain curious," Aris Prins, the chairman of the Royal Dutch Society for the Promotion of Pharmacy (KNMP), tells NRC .

"With that curiosity, I say: we are going to investigate the paracetamol in our own laboratory. I can get ten boxes that can be sold at the supermarket, drugstore and pharmacy."

Concern supplies raw materials to Dutch pharmaceuticals

Zembla and NRC had samples of paracetamol from Anqiu Lu'an Pharmaceutical examined by a certified laboratory in Germany. Three parties were found to be contaminated with PCA.

The concentration of PCA found is less than the maximum amount used by the European Medicines Agency EMA. The MEB also assumes the maximum set by the supervisor.

However, the European Food Safety Authority EFSA uses a much lower maximum amount than the EMA: where the EMA finds six pills of acetaminophen containing this substance acceptable, one pill is already too high a cancer risk, according to Zembla and NRC .

The paracetamol may have ended up on the Dutch market, because Anqiu Lu'an Pharmaceutical supplies raw materials to pharmacist Apotex in Leiden. The pharmaceutical company makes paracetamol for Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Etos and Kruidvat, among others.