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Thursday, February 5, 2004
Bill Summary   -   A08628
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A08628 Summary:

SAME AS    No same as                                                          

SPONSOR    RULES COM Weisenberg                                                  

COSPNSR    Sidikman, Dinowitz, Ortiz, Perry, Benjamin, Clark, Cohen A, Colton, 

           Gordon, Greene, Gromack, John, Koon, Mayersohn, O`Donnell, Robinson 



Amd S3306, Pub Health L                                                        

Bans the sale, use, and prescription of any product containing                 

hexachlorocyclohexane, commonly known as Lindane, and its isomers.             

A08628 Actions:

05/22/2003 referred to health                                                  

01/07/2004 referred to health                                                  

A08628 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 OF THE BILL : This bill prohibits any product used for the            

treatment of lice or scabies in humans from containing the pesticide           



 SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Finds that Lindane is the working ingredient          

in over 2 million prescriptions for shampoos and creams meant to               

control head lice and scabies and that these prescriptions are issued          

to children, pregnant women and young mothers.  Finds that the main            

source of Lindane in sewers are from treatment of head lice and                

scabies, that a single treatment of Lindane pollutes 6 million gallons         

of water, and that Lindane has been shown to damage the liver, kidney,         

nervous and immune systems of laboratory animals. Also finds that              

there are more effective and less toxic products available for the             

control of head lice.                                                          


 JUSTIFICATION : Lindane is a man made pesticide that has been                 

categorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a                   

persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic pollutant, meaning that it               

lingers for a long period in the environment, moves up the food chain,         

and is toxic to humans and wildlife. Additionally, lindane is highly           

toxic. It is a carcinogen and can cause seizures or even death when            

absorbed through the skin. In the past few years, over 500 cases of            

adverse impacts from lindane-containing products have been reported.           

Safer substitutes for the treatment of head lice and scabies are               

readily available and widely used. Despite these adverse impacts and           

the availability of alternatives, the use of lindane-containing                

shampoos and creams continues to be permitted by prescription.                 


Lindane is particularly toxic in the environment. After use, lindane           

shampoos and creams are rinsed off in the sink or shower, and the              

residue makes its way through the sewer to a wastewater treatment              

plant.  Since lindane is not removed well in wastewater treatment              

plants, it passes through to downstream rivers, lakes or the ocean.            


Lindane has been shown to be a human carcinogen. Recent case control           

studies report high rates of childhood brain cancer treated with               

lindane shampoo. These findings are supported by several reports of            

six-fold increases non-Hodgkins lymphoma in farmers exposed to                 

lindane, evidence of carcinogenicity is confirmed by the World Health          

Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department           

of Health and Human Services.                                                  


Lindane is a known hemotoxin-blood poison. In many case reports,               

lindane exposure from recommended dosages has resulted in blood                

diseases such as aplastic anemia. Aplastic anemia, which has a high            

fatality rate, is a precursor to leukemia. Lindane is also a                   

neurotoxin - nerve poison. In many cases, treatment with lindane               

shampoos have resulted in vomiting, seizures, brain damage, and comas.         

Adverse effects have resulted from recommended dosages of this                 



Children under the age of seven, children who were born premature, and         

pregnant women are the most at risk for immediate adverse effects from         

lindane exposure. Lindane is readily absorbed through the skin and can         

immediately cause central nervous system damage. It has also been              

shown to pass through the placenta, creating a serious risk for                

expectant mothers. Absorption of lindane is increased when applied             

with warm water or followed by oil-based hair care products.                   



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all pharmaceutical            

products, lindane included. To date, the FDA has taken very little             

action to inform patients of the long term effects of exposure to              

lindane. The Environmental Protection Agency has severely restricted           

the use of lindane as an agricultural pesticide due to lindane`s               

adverse health effects.                                                        


 PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New                                               




 EFFECTIVE DATE : The bill will take effect 180 days after it shall            

become law.                                                                    



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