Combing accomplishes what chemicals cannot; it enables families to be self-reliant, proactive, and preventive.
NEWTON, Mass. August 04, 2018
Attention, parents: Protect your children from the potentially harmful pesticide-based shampoos and treatments that are commonly used to try to eliminate head lice.
The National Pediculosis Association (NPA) is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide more details on safe alternative combing products. Parents who want to lend their support to the cause have until 11:59 pm Eastern Time Monday, August 6 to provide comments at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2018-P-0599.
In February, the NPA, a nonprofit organization protecting children and the environment from these pesticides, submitted the petition, which asks the FDA to feature well-designed nit-removal combs more prominently through its website and educational materials.
As stated in the petition: “To its credit, the FDA acknowledges that chemical treatments are less than 100% effective, requires combs to be included in the packaging of chemical treatments and has adopted a 2018 policy goal to empower consumers and patients to make more informed … health decisions….”
Still, the NPA petition requests that the FDA better explain the benefits of combing, and that all lice combs are not equivalent. It also requests a mention of the NPA’s LiceMeister® comb, accepted by the FDA as a 510(k) medical device, “consistent with the FDA’s reference to chemical treatments by brand name….”
“With children readying to return to school, increasing their potential exposure to lice, this petition is especially timely,” said NPA President Deborah Z. Altschuler. “We’re encouraging parents to advocate for their families, and to ensure that they are aware of the ongoing benefits of combing, which include routine screening for early detection. There is never a need to miss a minute of school when parents are first to identify and thoroughly remove head lice and nits, when there are fewer of them to comb out.”
Pesticide-based lice treatments are not only risky to a child’s health; they do not always kill all lice eggs (nits) and require combing in order to work. Pesticides also lead to negative consequences including treatment failure, chronic infestations, communicability of lice to others, lice resistance, pollution and other adverse impacts. Parents may have too much faith in them as a “quick fix” to get their children back to school. Ironically, though, these treatments can lead to classroom disruption when they repeatedly fail.
“Combing accomplishes what chemicals cannot; it enables families to be self-reliant, proactive, and preventive,” said Ms. Altschuler. For example, Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu et al noted in Pediatric Dermatology that “Diagnosis of louse infestation using a louse comb is four times more efficient than direct visual examination and twice as fast.”
The NPA developed the LiceMeister comb for the screening, detection and removal of lice and nits. The comb was specially featured as a chemical treatment alternative at a global meeting of the Stockholm Convention, and highlighted for being free of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
For parents who believe that “nothing compares to the kindness of a comb,” the time to act for your children is now. Please reach out to the FDA today at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2018-P-0599.
About the National Pediculosis Association
The National Pediculosis Association (NPA) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of setting the highest possible public health standards for children as it relates to the communicability and treatment of head lice. The NPA is comprised of volunteers including its Scientific Advisory Board. As part of its mission, the NPA developed the LiceMeister® comb and makes it available on its website, https://www.headlice.org/. All proceeds from the comb allow the NPA to maintain independence from product manufacturers and stay loyal to its mission to protect children from the misuse and abuse of pesticides for lice.
Media that would like more information should contact Dawn Ringel at (781) 449-8456 or [email protected]
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