If you’ve been the victim of head lice for any amount of time, you know that they are one of the worst things that can happen to you both physically and psychologically.
To chemical head lice treatment manufacturers, this problem is worth a massive amount of money to them every year, with over $100 million being made on head lice control in the US alone. The EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) is responsible for testing and making sure most pesticide head lice treatments destined for use on US children are safe.
Pesticides vs. Pediculicides: Confusion Over Safety
No pesticide to this day has been or is legally allowed to be advertised as such. However, Pediculicides (lice-killing pesticides) are regulated by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) which causes the confusion: “If the FDA approved it, it must be safe?” This leads many people to believe (including those who prescribe and sell these medications) that these toxic pesticide products (like roach spray and weed killer) are harmless.
This common misconception leads to alarming overuse of these potent and harmful pesticides on fragile children, some of the mothers I spoke to even buying a head lice product every week with the grocery money. Some schools even share this belief and require proof that pesticide product has been applied, rather than simply checking whether or not the child still has lice.
The truth of the matter, is all pesticides have the potential to do serious harm and each individual has unique vulnerabilities and potential to react differently to these chemicals.
Although the FDA requires testing before the product can be approved, it cannot foresee potential problems in every individual, commonly hearing about them after the damage has been done. A process of elimination then begins, and only when it is shown that the only thing in common all the children with leukemia is that they have all used the same head lice treatment containing the same chemical. Pediculicides as a class are nerve poisons designed to interfere with the nervous system of lice. Unfortunately, this interferes with the nervous system of our children as well. To make things even worse, children’s sensitive growing bodies are far less able to process these chemicals. Children’s sensitive bodies have less developed immune systems. Children’s detoxification processes are not fully developed and their organs are still growing. This makes them far more susceptible and sensitive to the toxic threats of pesticides. i.e.: Lindane (Kwell): Applications of lice treating medications containing Lindane have been proven to be extremely dangerous.
Lab tests reported cancer causing agents, blood disorders, damage to the liver, kidney, nervous and immune systems and DEATH in animal testing from treatments containing this chemical. This toxic chemical is the working ingredient in over 2 million prescriptions for head lice and scabies. According to PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America): “Lindane can cause seizures and damage to the nervous system and can weaken the immune system. Case-controlled research shows a significant association between brain tumors in children and the use of lindane containing lice shampoos. The insecticide is also a suspected carcinogen (contains cancer causing agents) and hormone disruptor.” New York followed California in banning the chemical compound Lindane and it is now banned in 52 countries. Despite this damning evidence, parts of the US still allow prescriptions containing Lindane in pharmaceutical compounds. Malathion (or Maldison as it is known in NZ and Australia): Is a highly toxic derivative of nerve gas which works by disrupting the chemical reactions in the lice?s (and our) nervous system.
Extremely toxic orally, Malathion is a possible carcinogen, mutagen (Mutates DNA) and endocrine disruptor. In its raw state, malathion is readily absorbed into the skin. Pyrethroid Pesticides: These are known to be toxic to the Thyroid and Immune System, amongst other concerns. Scientific studies of Sumithrin, Resmethrin and Permethrin also reveal serious safety concerns and are possible carcinogens. German studies link exposure to Permethrin and also Phenothrin with leukemia, lymphoid cancer and multiple chemical sensitivity.
Yet, according to a 1996 study conducted on 300,000 primary schoolchildren at 31 schools spread across the five health authorities of Wales, the researchers concluded that as many as 80% of 316 lice tested were resistant to these very chemicals. Are we REALLY prepared to put our children in THIS much danger for a shocking, mind boggling 20% success rate?
Products Becoming Less Effective as Head Lice Develop Increasing Tolerance
Chemical head lice product manufacturers also refuse to admit that their products are becoming less and less effective against head lice as the lice build up more and more of a tolerance to the different chemicals. Resistance is caused when the host is infected with one or two adults who are naturally resistant to the chemical and do not die. These two adults then reproduce and you have a whole new batch of lice that are resistant to that chemical. When you retreat with the same chemical treatment it is then of no use whatsoever to the new super breed of lice. Chemical product manufacturers may try to warn you that head lice can make you ill. Head lice carry no disease agents and cannot cause illness. A parent’s biggest concern should be keeping the stress of the child to a minimum to avoid long term psychological damage due to the shame and ridicule. The only way head lice can cause any physical damage is if abrasions from scratching become infected.
Using pesticide bombs also unnecessarily expose your family to dangerous chemicals. Adults and nymphs are only able to survive for 2-3 days off the host in optimal conditions. Under normal circumstances however this is more likely to be measured in hours rather than days as the adult louse is highly susceptible to dehydration and will quickly starve. Eggs can survive away from the host for up to 7 days but will not hatch without the warmth of a human host. With this in mind it is fairly obvious that compulsive cleaning is also unnecessary.
Pharmaceutical Industry Disparages Natural Remedies
The highly profitable chemical and pharmaceutical industry will have you believe that natural remedies are necdotal (unreliable) and are not scientifically proven, but independent studies by average everyday parents and caregivers show that there are many different natural therapies which are proven to be 100% effective.
NO over the counter or prescription head lice preparation has been proven to be 100% safe and effective, and repeated use leads to ongoing outbreaks and resistance to the pesticides.
The ONLY safe way to get rid of head lice permanently is to use a totally natural alternative to the chemical preparations on the market, some of which have been found to be extremely toxic.
Tags: head lice, head lice prevention, head lice products, head lice shampoo