Attention, parents: Protect your children from the potentially harmful pesticide-based shampoos and treatments that are commonly used to try to eliminate head lice. The National Pediculosis Association (NPA) is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide more details on safe alternative combing products. Parents who want to lend their support to the cause have until 11:59 pm Eastern Time Monday, August 6 to provide comments at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2018-P-0599.
The National Pediculosis Association® (NPA) has submitted a petition to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting that it update its website and other educational materials so that combing with well-designed nit-removal combs like the LiceMeister® is presented as a safe and effective option for the treatment of children with head lice. Doing so would give more parents access to the critical information and guidance necessary to make informed decisions. There are many children for whom a non-chemical treatment for lice is required.
The NPA’s petition is consistent with the FDA’s goal to empower consumers and patients to make informed and effective health decisions, as stated by Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. in his blog post, “Looking ahead: Some of FDA’s major policy goals for 2018.” Currently, the agency offers extensive information about brand name chemical methods that can be used to treat children with head lice, but mentions combing only briefly and generically, without sufficiently explaining the value of combing or that all lice combs are not equivalent.
The benefits of combing and the LiceMeister comb are well documented. Since its inception in 1983, the NPA has advocated for combing to remove lice and nits. In 1997, the NPA developed the LiceMeister comb, which features elongated stainless metal teeth precisely fixed in a hygienically-sealed handle. The comb can be sterilized for safe and repeated use, and in 1998, it was “accepted” by the FDA as a 510(k) medical device (FDA K981250).
The indicated use of the LiceMeister is for “routine screening, early detection [and] removal of lice and their eggs,” which, when done thoroughly, effectively ends an infestation. That means the LiceMeister is a complete treatment that can either stand on its own as an alternative to pesticides and various chemicals or be used as a complement to other remedies.
When used routinely, combing allows parents to be the first to know their child is infested, discovering it early when there are fewer lice and nits to comb out. As reported by Mumcuoglu KY, et al, “Diagnosis of louse infestation using a louse comb is four times more efficient than direct visual examination and twice as fast. The direct visual examination technique underestimates active infestation and detects past, non-active infestations.”
In fact, because combing is so effective for screening and treatment, it has spawned a cottage industry of lice and nit removal services and has become an accepted method for data collection in scientific research studies.
When used as a complete treatment, combing can meet the health and medical needs of those who are most vulnerable to pesticides, while reducing the use of potentially harmful chemicals.
The Lindane Project is a petition to the United States Government to cancel lindane’s registration as a pharmaceutical as it has been cancelled by the EPA for all other uses.
THAT this compilation of government surveillance documents the presence and persistence of the pesticide lindane and its related isomers in the United States.
THAT the world via the Stockholm Convention has voted to take proactive measure to protect the citizens of the world from lindane and related isomers while the U.S. did not ratify the Convention but asked and received exception to allow lindane to be directly applied to humans as a pharmaceutical.
THAT lindane was banned by the US Secretary of the Interior in 1970 for use as a pesticide on lands managed by Department of Interior bureaus and agencies, or in any program run by them.
THAT child and school protection from pesticide laws exist because there are multiple other additional and cumulative pesticide exposure risks to children in addition to the direct exposure to lindane as a pharmaceutical.
THAT the US Government agencies and State Governments acknowledge the dangers of lindane, require surveillance measures to track the availability and risks of lindane and related isomers in the lives of Americans.
THAT the US Government Agencies go to great lengths using time and resources at taxpayer expense to monitor, measure, collect and document the scientific evidence in order to protect the public’s health, welfare and environment.
THAT lindane however remains regulated by the FDA and available as a pharmaceutical treatment for lice and scabies, as though this massive amount of government diligence and documentation does not exist.
THAT active permits allow lindane to be manufactured in the state of Mississippi.
THAT FDA’s guidance by industry rather than government surveillance and actions, puts the US population at unnecessary and avoidable risk.
THAT 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.