Lindane, a nerotoxic chemical drug already banned for use in farming and pet products, continues to be used in kids’ head lice treatment shampoos and scabies remedy products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was recently asked to ban lindane, a carcinogenic ingredient in over-the-counter lice treatments, but denied the joint petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Pesticide Action Network. And that’s after several studies show that even though lindane is considered dangerous for children (those typically treated with shampoos containing the drug); it’s not even the most effective lice or scabies treatment available.
However, effective lice treatments can include the following:
1. Avoid sharing brushes, hats, towels, etc.—head lice are typically spread through head-to-head contact.
2. Lice picking—or nit picking, by oiling the scalp and running a comb through hair to find stray lice and nits.
3. Clean house—a good vacuum and washing all bedding, towels, and shared linens with hot water should do the trick!
“In the case of lindane, the cure is worse than disease,” said Edward Markey, a representative who requested the FDA ban use of the drug. “There is not a nit of scientific evidence to support the continued use of this toxic chemical for treatment used predominantly on children.”
While the FDA continues use of lindane in commercial lice treatments, it’s up to parents to read ingredient labels on head shampoos carefully and rely on safer alternatives to combat lice and scabies.