SEOUL, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- South Korea said it will recall Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccines manufactured in Japan as arsenic, a toxic substance, was detected.
The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare stopped distribution of new BCG vaccine products in August after it found a low dose of arsenic in the vaccine's physiological saline. According to the ministry, a vaccine could contain up to 0.26 parts per million (ppm) of arsenic, 1/38 of the maximum amount allowed per day.
The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said a shot of the BCG vaccine contained up to 0.23 ppm of arsenic, exceeding South Korea's standard of 0.1 ppm. It decided to recall the products as a precaution.
The Japan Medical Association held a press conference on Thursday to denounce the Japanese government's late announcement on the arsenic-contained BCG vaccine for infants, according to Kyodo News. BCG vaccines are used against tuberculosis in infants.
Japan's healthy ministry halted distribution of BCG vaccines, manufactured by Japan BCG Laboratory after it received a report that detected arsenic in the vaccine's saline solution. It didn't immediately announce the decision as it found that the level of arsenic concentration is minimal without the potential to cause harm.
The ministry's research showed that arsenic was from the heated glass bottle that contained the BCG vaccine.