Results from a recent study support the importance of choosing a chemical-free lice treatment. It’s now commonly regarded that the traditional pesticides that were once the gold standard of treating head lice can pose serious health risks.
Further backing that up is a new study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that has shown an alarming link between chemical head lice removal treatments and behavior issues. The research in this study concluded that children who had higher levels of certain pyrethroids, the pesticides common in over-the-counter head lice treatments, in their system had a greater likelihood of demonstrating behavior abnormalities starting at the age of six than those who did not.
In contrast to chemical free lice treatment, many treatments contain synthetic chemicals called Pyrethroids. One of the most common chemicals found in drug store head lice treatments is a pyrethroid called permethrin. The way that permethrin kills insects is by damaging their nerves.
Scientists wanted to find out if these chemicals had the same negative effect on the nervous system of children. They investigated the association between prenatal and childhood exposure to pyrethroids and behavior skills in six-year-old children.
The study began with pregnant women in France. They were revisited once their children turned six. The children’s behavior was assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, urine samples were taken to test pyrethroid levels and surveys were completed.
In a nutshell, here’s what was found: Women with higher levels of pyrethroid metabolites in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to have children with a greater risk of internalizing behavior and externalizing behavior. And overall, those with the highest levels of pyrethroids were three times likelier to have abnormal behavior than those with low levels.
The study showed a correlation and not causation, so try not to panic if you’ve treated your child with these chemicals in the past. The studies are considered preliminary, and much more research will likely be done.
Meanwhile, why mess around with your kids’ health? There are plenty of non-toxic head lice treatments available. LCA Miami provides effective, chemical free head lice treatment in Miami. Our signature 3-step process which uses exclusive warm-air technology is even recommended by pediatricians! All of our treatments are effective and non-toxic, so you can have peace of mind the next time your child needs head lice removal treatment.