September is Head Lice Prevention Month; The National Pediculosis Association Recommends Combing as a Winning Strategy Over Pesticides
Wockhardt announced its decision to discontinue manufacturing the pesticide lindane as a lice shampoo. This important news coincides with the NPA’s 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.
NEWTON, Mass. (PRWEB) September 01, 2022
The not-for-profit National Pediculosis Association (NPA) began in 1983 as a grassroots organization with a mission to protect children from the misuse and abuse of pesticide treatments for lice. 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) in 2006 and Wockhardt announced its decision to discontinue manufacturing lindane lice shampoo on June 24, 2022.
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 (http://www.LiceMeister.org) . The NPA offers tips to parents to be proactive, so head lice will not catch them or their children by surprise: https://youtu.be/oJuus3bSGfc.
NPA’s president Deborah Altschuler says, “There’s a critical difference between treating lice and treating a child infested with lice. Despite the many other public health challenges of our day, head lice remain important to the people who have them.”
The NPA first petitioned the FDA against lindane for lice (and scabies) in 1983 and commends Wockhardt’s decision. The available scientific knowledge on lindane spawned NPA’s lindane repository (http://www.lindane.org) in 1999 and the Lindane Project Petition in 2010. (https://www.headlice.org/comb/the-lindane-project/). Lindane is a persistent organic pollutant and was banned by over 160 governments via the Stockholm Convention for both agriculture and pharmaceutical use. (https://beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/2009/05/stockholm-convention-expanded-to-ban-lindane-other-toxic-chemicals/) 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.
“Because it’s not about lice, it’s about kids.”