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Lice Sprays

At nearly any market or drug store, lice sprays are sold right alongside of head lice shampoo.

There are increasing concerns over the use of these products because of not only their toxicity, but there effectiveness as well.

More and more these days we are reading stories in the news about “drug resistant super bugs” and antibiotic resistant bacteria, and now there are reports of insecticide resistant insects. Included in the latest list of resistant insects…head lice.

Head lice are becoming resistant to the most commonly used insecticides for two main reasons, one is the insecticides never were very effective, and second is the overuse of the same insecticides.

One example of overuse is found in lice sprays.

Headlice sprays are unnecessary and dangerous, because lice die quickly without a human host, and so the areas to worry about most can be treated simply with a thorough vacuuming and a daily changing of the sheets and pillow covers. The irony of using lice spray on your children’s bedding, your furniture, and rugs, and anywhere else you might feel the need to treat, is that the same chemicals require a sign when sprayed on a lawn in many places.

The signs usually read something like the following

  • Danger---Chemicals application in progress---
  • Stay off the grass! ---Don’t play on the grass---pesticides in use”.

You have to ask yourself, if the government wants companies to warn me that it’s dangerous to come in contact with these chemicals, then why would I spray them in my child’s bed, and then leave them exposed to toxic chemicals for eight hours or longer?

Not only are the sprays ineffective and dangerous in the short term, but studies have made a connection between many of the pesticides used for lice and the increase of allergies, asthma, cancer, and leukemia.

Newsweek magazine wrote a disturbing article on the incredible increases in childhood medical problems associated with the increased use of toxic chemicals on and around our children. September 22, 2003 issue of Newsweek Magazine “Your Child’s Health and Safety,” the latest on allergies and asthma, childhood depression, sleep, stress and more.

The most common of the chemicals in lice spray is permethrin, a chemical that has been found to cause asthma, and some contain lindane or malathion. Lindane has been banned now in many states and countries due to it’s toxicity. Some brands also boldly claim that there products work for weeks after application.

Companies use the frantic emotions and stigma of lice and the placement of their products to suggest that they are necessary to combat lice, even though a thorough vacuuming of carpets and upholstery should suffice. If you want added peace of mind, then after the infestation is cleared up,have a professional come in to clean the carpets and upholstery. 

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