HeadLice.Org Hot Spots

The NPA has been helping people around the world since long before there was an Internet.
This section will feature some of the timeless articles and editorials that appeared in
peer review journals, newspapers and from the NPA's own publications.

2018 How a Tiny Insect Was Used to Trace the Origins of Human Clothing
Almost all mammalian and avian species are host to various species of lice. But humans are among the few species that are host to three (or subspecies). The human head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis), the body louse (P. humanus corporis, also considered P. humanus humanus) and the pubic louse (Pthirus pubis) are obligate ectoparasites to the human body and can’t survive on other species, including pets.
2015 Frankowski Letter to Altschuler
Followup to article on head lice in the Washington Post.
2012 Markey to FDA: Stop Use of Toxic Chemical in Children's Shampoo
Use of insecticide "lindane" in treatment for lice could harm children, pollutes environment
2011 A crawling issue: Head lice treatments worse than the pest itself?
Parents often aren't aware that some of the most prescribed and over-the-counter treatments can be harmful to children, an iWatch News investigation found. The Food and Drug Administration's adverse event reports – collected anonymously from doctors, hospitals and others - detail cases where the pesticides in lice treatments have been involved in conditions ranging from headaches to death.
2010 The Lindane Project: A Petition to the United States Government
Lindane is a persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemical to which the US population continues to be exposed to and at risk from the past and current use via the ambient air, water, soil, food, manufacturing, Superfund sites, stockpiles, recycled plastic and the pharmacopeia.
2009 Deborah Altschuler Discusses LiceMeister Comb at the Stockholm Convention
The Stockholm Convention identified the LiceMeister comb as a POPs-free product and featured it at a global meeting of more than 150 countries April 25 - 29, 2011.
Since World War II, the use of pesticide products in the United States has increased fifty-fold. We now use approximately 900 million pounds of industrial pesticides per year in the United States. Two pesticide products marketed for use on children present striking examples of our overall failure to protect children from these dangerous toxins. Malathion, a deadly organophosphate pesticide, and Lindane, a lethal organochlorine pesticide, are both included in shampoos widely used on children's heads to cure pediculosis, otherwise known as head lice. In the United States alone, seventeen deaths have been reported in connection with the use of Lindane; five of these deaths occurred in children. Lindane is so toxic that the Environmental Protection Agency banned all agricultural uses of the chemical in December of 2006.
2004 Decomposers Vs. An Unbelieving World - First Day of Testimony
Well, Your Honor, we decomposers take dead plants and animals and turn them into nutrients and chemicals which can be used by other living things. When one organism becomes food for another organism, and that creature, in turn, becomes food for yet another...
2002 A letter to Lee Lemley of the FDA
Pediculicide treatments put both the person applying the treatment and the person receiving treatment at risk.
2002 A letter to the EPA on lindane risks
The NPA urges the EPA to recognize the risks associated with the pharmaceutical use of lindane for the treatment of lice and scabies as part of the Agency’s RED document. Consideration of the risks of pharmaceutical use of lindane is appropriate because the risks apply not only to the child or individual being treated, but also to the caregiver (“applicator”), the public at large and the environment.
2002 A letter to the FDA
FDA wording jeopardizes the public health
2000 Fake News! Guidelines for the treatment of resistant pediculosis
From Contemporary Pediatrics and the Working Group on the Treatment of Resistant Pediculosis.
2000 If your new school policy is based on this published paper you probably should take a closer look:
Overdiagnosis and consequent mismanagement of head louse infestations in North America

Health care professionals as well as nonspecialists frequently overdiagnose pediculiasis capitis and generally fail to distinguish active from extinct infestations.

If your school relaxed the No Nit Policy for children with head lice you will want to know about this report and why it shouldn’t have been the basis for allowing infested children to remain in the classroom:

"Overdiagnosis and consequent mismanagement of head louse infestations in North America." Pollack RJ1, Kiszewski AE, Spielman A. - - (Abstract of Article).

From Methods:....“we invited health care providers as well as nonspecialized personnel to submit specimens to us that were associated with a diagnosis of pediculiasis. Each submission was then characterized microscopically.” RESULTS: Health care professionals as well as nonspecialists frequently overdiagnose pediculiasis capitis and generally fail to distinguish active from extinct infestations.”

Dr. Pollack’s methods from this reference do not support his assertion that “The vast majority of kids who have nits are not currently infested, and quite a few were never infested” His abstract describes an opportunity screening sample obtained from volunteers who are apparently seeking guidance as to the identification of a particular louse nit sample. It offers no quantitative information about either the majority of children infested or the identification skills of the typical parent, school nurse or teacher.

It would be necessary to test a random sample of several schools and health providers to support the assertions in the Pollack post. It is important for public health professionals to review the scientific support for Pollack’s assumptions.

David R. Brown, ScD – Environmental Public Health Scientist
David Brown is the Public Health Toxicologist and Director of Public Health Toxicology for Environment and Human Health, Inc. He is the past Chief of Environmental Epidemiology and Occupational Health in Connecticut and was previously Associate Professor of Toxicology at Northeastern College of Pharmacy and Allied Health. He also served as Deputy Director of the Public Health Practice Group of Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Brown graduated from Cornell University in Biochemistry, received his MS from the University of California in Environmental Health, and his ScD from Harvard School of Public Health in Toxicology.

1999 Letter from Barbara Frankowski to National Pediculosis Association
Agreement concerning NPA's stand on not using lindane, not overusing the other pediculocides, not using lice sprays, and being wary of unproven remedies such as vaseline and herbal oils.
1998 Survey presented to the 1998 national meeting of the National Association of School Nurses
Survey regarding occurrence and treatment of head lice (Pediculus capitis) in American school children
1998 There's More to Head Lice Than Killing The Bug.
1998 Exposing The Nitty Gritty About Head Lice
1998 Tom Bell in support of No Nits
1997 Louse on Board? Head Lice Awareness Graphic
1996 The late Robert Dalgleish, PhD says "Physical removal is always a choice, preferred choice, and thus should be first and last choice."
From Letter to the NPA
1996 Resistant Lice? A Crisis for the Kids
From the Progress Newsletter
1996 A Heady, Nitpicky, Lousy Problem
Report on head lice from the CA Dept of Health Services, Div of Communicable Disease Control
1995 Shampooing with Poison
Article from the NPA's Progress Newsletter
1995 Systematic review of clinical efficacy of topical treatments for head lice
From the British Medical Journal, September 1995
1994 Lindane - The Most Dangerous Medicine
The Paula Lyons article that launched the NPA's National Reporting Registry
1992 It's A Lousy Job But She's Good At It
In The War Against Head Lice In Children, This Massachusetts Mother Serves As Commander-in-chief Without Pay
1992 Head Lice as Vectors of Disease
The question of head lice as disease vectors has not been resolved
1992 Correspondence on the NPA's  'Lice & Disease' Presentation to the U.S. Military
Medical committee concludes that lice are a vector for typhus and louse-born fever
1991 Pediculosis prevention and control strategies of community health and school nurses: a descriptive study
1991 Old Comb Reveals Nits On The Nile
Mummified head lice found on ancient Egyptian comb
1990 Zinsser, Lice And History
Lice and disease
1990 Head of Quebec Poison Control calls for ban on lindane-based head lice products
Facilities turn up more than 300 cases of poisoning, and that is just the tip of the iceberg
1990 The Misuse of Pesticides
A painful prophecy
Interview with the NPA President
From 'Bob Detwiler's Journal'
1989 The Pressure to Fumigate
Parents who discover one or more family members harboring lice can become anxious and panicked.
1989 The Hazards of Treating Head Lice
Minimizing risks by working together
1988 Defining The Problem
from the Progress Newsletter
1986 Product Advertising Inconsistent With Health Goals
from the Progress Newsletter
1986 Addressing A Common Bias
Indifference to head lice in the medical community
1985 University of Miami Field Epidemiology Research Team's Findings on Head Lice
Team has treated over 2000 lice cases and extensively studied the biology of the head louse
1985 AIDS Precautionary Guidelines and Procedures for School Children
Pediculosis position statement submitted to the CDC
1985 California School Nurses Organization Supports Nit Free Policies
From the CSNO President
1985 Pediculosis Prevention Resolution Submitted to Congress
H.J. Res. 223
1984 Letters on Pediculosis from NE Journal of Medicine
Letters on head lice topics, including nit removal and the search for safe methods for preventing head lice infestation.
1984 Memo to School Nurses
If head lice management in this country is to succeed, health professionals and parents must acknowledge nit removal as an integral part of total treatment.
1984 Getting Bugged to the Limit
From the Washington Post
1983 No Nit Checklist
National Pediculosis Association
1983 Department of Health and Human Services discourages environmental use of insecticides for head louse control
Department of Health and Human Services
1982 Kansas No Nit Policy
From the Kansas Department of Health and Environment - NPA Policy Reference
Benjamin Ken and John H. Poorbaugh, Ph.D.
1954 Flavor and benzene haxachloride content of peanuts grown in rotation with cotton, dusted with insecticides containing benzene hexachloride
1946 Rats, Lice and History
An excerpt from Hans Zinsser's Book
1944 Mr. W E VAN DEN BRUEL shows specimens of Lepidocyrtinus domesticus (NIC.) BÖRNER captured on the head of a child.
Cited (and translated) from van den Bruel, W.E. in Collart, A. (1944:210)
1941 Nursing Issues in the 1940's
Nurses are devoted to the children and the children are devoted to them

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The National Pediculosis Association,® Inc.
A Non-Profit Organization
Serving The Public Since 1983.

2019 marks 36 years of Service.

The NPA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit volunteer organization, including scientific advisors, dedicated since 1983 to protecting children and their environment from the misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter pesticide treatments for lice and scabies.
The LiceMeister comb® was developed by the NPA in 1997 to provide a higher standard for lice combing tools and a safe, cost-effective treatment alternative to pesticides. Proceeds from sales of the LiceMeister comb allow the NPA to be self-sustaining while accomplishing its mission.

©1997-2019 The National Pediculosis Association®, Inc.
All images ©1997-2019 The National Pediculosis Association®, Inc.

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