NeemWell.comm     Your personal source for potent Indian Neem 

   Products Malation                                                       Ailments Index

   Dr. Pat Upton on Malation

Dangers of Head Lice Shampoos.

Dr. Upton: Thank you, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, for the opportunity to raise this matter and I thank the Minister for coming to the House to respond.

I raise this matter in response to reports from the United Kingdom which point to serious and worrying dangers posed by the use of a shampoo for the treatment of head lice containing Malathion, an active ingredient in it, and an organophosphate. I raise this issue in an attempt to highlight the concerns, particularly of parents, about these reports. Malathion, like all organo-phosphates, is a poisonous and dangerous pesticide, and since children are the main users of these products it is vital that the British reports are studied closely and their implications acted upon.

I raise this matter on foot of a report on the British television programme "World in Action" last Monday, which referred to a scientific study carried out in the UK indicating that users of these shampoos can absorb between five and ten times what are considered to be safe levels of malathion when used to treat head lice. I do not have to tell you, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, or the Minister, Deputy Moffatt, that organo-phosphates are toxic and act on the nervous system. The concerns attaching to them are rather wider than their effects in shampoo -- a number of farmers in the UK have shown symptoms associated with the use of products containing these chemicals. Three head lice shampoos which are licensed for use and available in Ireland contain organo-phosphates.

There are a number of aspects of this matter. A certain level of information is now available on the dangers associated with these products. Science is developing all the time and it is important that we be up to date with what is happening. There is a risk of improper use of these products by consumers of these products, if an inadequate level of attention is given to the dangers associated with them if they are not used in accordance with the manufacturers' instructions. Are the Minister's Department and the health promotion agencies conducting research into the implications of the British studies as reported this week? Do they have a coherent plan to ensure consumers are fully aware of the dangers which may be attached to the use of these products and how they should cope with them?

It is vital that the Minister should respond to the worrying results found this week by British scientists. Head lice shampoo and malathion are mostly used on a vulnerable section of the community, that is, children. We must make every effort to research the full implications of the use of organo-phosphates and thoroughly investigate any hint of harmful effects. We must also take this opportunity to engage in an active campaign to inform parents of the dangers or over-use or improper use of these products. In this context I ask the Minister to request the Department's health promotion unit to develop an action programme to inform parents and other users of the safe ways in which these products can be used, any risks which might be attached to their improper use, and the broader question of whether the use of these products should be discontinued.

Read the response he got from Minister for health and children Dr. Moffatt here

NeemWell Creams, Lotions Oil, Leaves and Shampoo
are safe for topical use on all age groups.
Neem leaf capsules should not be given to
anyone under the age of 14
Our products are to support healing,
not to replace a practitioner.

HOMEPAGE                                                                  Copyright © 2001/06