FDA Asked to Ban Lice Shampoo for Kids
6/4/2012 7:37:38 AM
In a move that casts a spotlight on a little-known controversy, a Massachusetts congressman has asked the FDA to halt the use of an insecticide in pharmaceutical treatments for head lice in children. Known commercially as Lindane, the chemical has been widely used as an agricultural tool around the world, but is also a key component in a topical lotion and shampoo that are approved by the FDA for combating lice and scabies, although only as a second-line treatment. Lindane, however, is a neurotoxin that can affect the liver and kidney, and infants and children may be more susceptible to potential adverse effects than adults, which was noted by the US Department of Health & Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (see this). The potential adverse effects prompted the Stockholm Convention to ban Lindane production and agricultural use three years ago (look here). The package inserts for the lotion and shampoo both list the possibility of seizures and deaths (see this and this).
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