Saturday, March 15, 2008

Parents told to avoid lindane-laced lice shampoo

Sat. Mar. 15 2008

The Canadian Press

Parents are being urged to avoid over-the-counter lice treatments that contain the pesticide lindane, which has been outlawed for agricultural use in dozen of countries, including Canada.

Health Canada hasn't banned lice and scabies treatments that contain lindane, but some environmental groups say Canada should follow California's lead and take the products off the shelves.

They say exposure to lindane can lead to adverse effects on humans, especially children and seniors.

And California sought a ban because the chemical was turning up in water testing.

Kevin Mercer of the environmental group Riversides says parents often go to the extreme to kill lice because they're disturbed by the thought of their kids harbouring bugs, and the stigma of becoming infected.

The Canadian Paediatric Society is reviewing its position on lindane products and currently recommends that they not be used on infants and children under 17. The society advises that other lice-fighting products that don't contain lindane are considered safe.

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