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New York State Assembly Logo
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Bill Summary   -   A08628
See Bill Text

A04162 Summary:

SAME AS No same as 
 
SPONSOR Weisenberg 
 
COSPNSR Dinowitz, Ortiz, Perry, Espaillat 
 
MLTSPNSR Benjamin, Brennan, Cahill, Clark, Cohen A, Colton, Gordon, Greene, 
 John, Koon, Lafayette, Mayersohn, McEneny, O`Donnell, Robinson, 
 Tedisco 
 
Amd S3306, Pub Health L 
Bans the sale, use, and prescription of any product containing 
hexachlorocyclohexane, commonly known as Lindane, and its isomers. 

A04162 Actions:

02/09/2005 referred to health 

A04162 Votes:


                  

A04162 Memo:

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to 
banning the sale, use, and prescription of any product containing the 
substance commonly known as Lindane 
 
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To ban the sale, use, and 
prescription of any product containing hexachlorocyclohexane, commonly 
known as Lindane, and its isomers. 
 
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. Adds a new subdivision (g) 
to section 3306 of the public health law, identifying Lindane as an 
organochlorine pesticide, thereby banning its sale, use, and 
prescription. 
 
Section 2. Sets the effective date. 
 
JUSTIFICATION: Lindane is a synthetic pesticide used in agriculture 
and as a treatment for head lice and scabies. Consumers use Lindane 
most often for the treatment of head-lice and scabies in the form of 
creams, lotions, and shampoos (Kwell). However, extended exposure to 
Lindane causes the absorption of its chemicals into the skin, the 
digestive system, and the respiratory tract, resulting in seizures 
and, in rare cases, death. Medical and toxicology studies have labeled 
Lindane a possible carcinogen. The World Health Organization (WHO), 
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of 
Health and Human Services, confirm these findings, reporting a six 
fold increase in the number of farmers who have developed non-Hodgkins 
lymphoma after exposure to Lindane. Recent case studies report high 
rates of childhood brain cancer due to treatment with Lindane shampoo. 
Furthermore, studies have proven that Lindane causes a potentially 
fatal or lifetime condition called aplastic anemia, the deficiency of 
essential nutrients in the blood and a precursor to leukemia. Adverse 
effects have resulted from recommended dosage of this product. 
 
Lindane is exceptionally toxic to the environment. The EPA categorizes 
Lindane as a persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic pollutant, meaning 
it remains in the environment for a protracted period of time. After 
its use, patients rinse lindane shampoos and creams down the sink or 
shower drains. Since waste water treatment plants do not remove 
Lindane successfully, it passes through groundwater streams, rivers, 
lakes, and the ocean. In California, one dose of Lindane was shown to 
pollute six million gallons of water. Even a small amount of Lindane 
when ingested is lethal. For this reason, the Environmental Protection 
Agency has severely restricted the agricultural use of Lindane. 
 
In 2003, The Food and Drug Administration repackaged Lindane and 
included a more detailed and restrictive warning. They classify 
Lindane as a second choice treatment to more efficient and less toxic 
alternatives and state that children, the elderly, and pregnant women 
should not use this product due to its toxicity. Hence, Lindane 
containing treatments continue to be available by prescription. 
Although the National Pediculosis Association reports that Lindane 
products have caused over 500 cases of adverse effects, over one 
million people receive prescriptions for Lindane each year in the 
United States. 
 
 
There is no viable reason to keep Lindane on the consumer market in 
light of its dangers. It is a deadly poison that safer alternatives 
can easily replace. Eighteen countries world-wide have banned the use 
and distribution of Lindane. In addition, since the FDA has restricted 
the use of Lindane concerning children, the group most likely to 
become infested with head lice, there is no high demand for this 
product. 
 
Although Lindane is no longer commercially produced in the United 
States, it remains commercially available in all states except 
California. Legislation is necessary to ensure that this dangerous 
product is removed completely from the consumer market. 
 
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2003-2004 A8628 - referred to health 
committee 
 
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None. 
 
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 180 days after it shall 
become law, with provisions
 

 

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