Can Lice Treatments Have Detrimental Effects on Children?
When you think of the word “chemical,” what comes to mind? That word is usually associated with things that are dangerous to consume or be exposed to. Then why has it been the norm for so many years to expose our children to harmful chemicals when treating head lice? Many parents simply don’t think about the potential harm of lice treatments.
Yahoo.com released an article, reporting on a study conducted and published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, finding that children who had higher levels of certain pyrethroids in their system were more likely to display abnormal behaviors at age 6 than those who didn’t.
A pyrethroid is an organic compound similar to the natural pyrethrins produced by the flowers of pyrethrums. Pyrethroids now constitute the majority of commercial household insecticides and are also found in common drugstore lice treatments. Pyrethroids work by damaging the nerves of insects to kill them. Scientists wanted to see if they had a negative impact on children as well so they conducted a study.
The scientists did a number of research including measuring levels of five pyrethroid metabolites in the urine of women in the early stages of pregnancy. They later measured for the same levels in their 6-year-old children to see if there was a link between being exposed to the chemical in the womb and childhood, and behavior that could suggest neurodevelopment damage.
Nearly 600 women filled out a questionnaire about socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, their child’s behavior, and various things their child has been exposed to”, according to Yahoo.com. “Psychologists visited the families at home to do behavioral assessments of the children, and also took urine and dust samples”
Behavior was rated through evaluations that tested altruism (how social children are), internalizing disorders (the inability to share problems or ask for help), and externalizing disorders (being defiant and disruptive).
Three of the pyrethroid metabolites showed up most often in the urine of mothers and their children: trans-DCCA, cis-DBCA and cis-DCCA.
“Here’s what researchers determined: Mothers with higher levels of cis-DCCA in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to have children with a higher risk of internalizing behaviors. Higher levels of another metabolite, 3-PBA, in the children’s urine was linked with a higher risk of externalizing behaviors. Overall, children with the highest levels of metabolites in their urine were three times more likely to have abnormal behavior than those with lower levels. As a result, the researchers concluded that pyrethroids might alter neurochemical signaling in the brain.”
The results of this study are terrifying for parents who have treated their children with pyrethroids for lice but enlightening for parents who may find head lice on their child in the future. Parents must be aware of the harmful effects that come along with common drugstore lice treatments.
Our Safe Alternative
We don’t trust any store-bought and chemical-filled products so we offer the revolutionary, FDA-cleared AirAllé® device. It uses controlled, heated air to dehydrate and kill head lice and their eggs. We follow with a topical rinse that is also completely safe. Our mission is to offer a safe and effective alternative to potentially harmful drugstore treatments.