should be seriously concerned about the long term effects of our
children's exposure to popular head lice and scabies treatments.
We should also be seriously concerned about the enviromental
effects of these chemicals. Some of these chemicals are being banned
from agricultural and horticultural use in order to protect the
enviroment but continue to be recommended for human use. Strange
that the EU should take it upon themselves to ban it from use on
the land but still permit it as a human medicine.
Particularly worrying is the fact that our medical profession
and education facilities are recommending them to unsuspecting parents.
and children are more at risk from pesticides than are adults
for the following reasons:
When an outbreak of head lice occurs schools send notes home
to parents recommending certain products containing any one of the
Babies have more
fat on their bodies than adults and pesticides are stored in fat.
A major Dublin hospital recommends the following for treating
head lice and scabies:
Researching these treatments shows:
Lindane is linked with serious health problems including breast
cancer and may also disrupt the endocrine (hormonal) system. It
is hazardous both to the people who use it and those exposed to
it in the environment or in their food.
This chemical is banned in California.
Malathion, an organophosphate insecticide, is a cholinesterase inhibitor
and has been found to disrupt the immune system.
In 1991 the US Environmental Protection Agency classified permethrin
as a potential human carcinogen.
Permethrin and Phenothrin
German studies link exposure to permethrin and phenothrin with leukemia,
lymphoid cancer and multiple chemical sensitivity(5).
In November 1995, the UK government's Committee on Carcinogenicity
concluded that carbaryl is a potential human carcinogen. As a result,
the Department of Health announced that head lice products containing
carbaryl were restricted to prescription only. This followed reports
of an association between family use of carbaryl in the home, garden
and pet care, and childhood cancer.
of pesticide exposure
Complaints of pesticide exposure that have been linked to head-lice
treatments include burning sensations, skin irritation, headaches,
dizziness, hyperactivity, increased susceptibility to infection
and general malaise, with acute hallucinatory reactions linked to
malathion and corneal damage following treatment with synthetic
There are alternatives to using toxic pesticides. Using natural
herbs and oils such as Neem,
which has been used in India for the last 2500 years.