Head Lice Awareness Month: National Pediculosis Association (HeadLice.org) · Lice and Children · Avoid Chemical Treatments · Lice Doctors.com New Jersey · Order LiceMeister Comb
Wockhardt Pharmaceuticals has announced its decision to discontinue manufacturing the pesticide lindane as a lice shampoo. This important news coincides with the National Pediclousis Foundation (NPA) annual back-to-school campaign to educate the community about head lice and the public health value of routine screening, early detection, and safe treatment.
Lindane, also known as gamma hexachlorocyclohexane, is chlorinated benzene and was at this time the pediatrician’s treatment of choice. Lindane is now internationally acknowledged as a neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and persistent pesticide, yet still considered a second line treatment for lice by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Lindane was cancelled for agriculture by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This is excellent news for the NPA’s back-to-school campaign that emphasizes the public health importance of routine screening, early detection, and safe treatment methods. The NPA offers tips to parents to be proactive, so head lice will not catch them or their children by surprise.
The NPA first petitioned the FDA against lindane for lice (and scabies) in 1983. The available scientific knowledge on lindane spawned NPA’s NPA’s lindane repository in 1999 and the Lindane Project Petition in 2010. The chemical has also been incriminated as a pollutant in the Superfund waters of Camp Lejeune.
In 1998 the NPA accomplished a major part of its mission to protect children from chemical treatments for lice by developing the LiceMeister® comb as a non-chemical manual approach. The comb revolutionized combing tools worldwide and bred a cottage industry of professional nitpickers. The directive for combing to remove all the lice and nits (lice eggs) was added to the FDA’s educational information in 2020 and acknowledged as a lice treatment method that stands on its own.
Combing is a winning strategy empowering parents to safely and effectively manage both preventive screening and prompt treatment without pesticides. This in turn enables communities to meet the NPA’s goal of sending children to school free of lice and nits. For more information, please visit http://www.LiceMeister.org