The dangerous toxin the FDA won’t remove from your kids’ shampoo
What is it with people who make shampoo products for kids? Are they all out of their minds?
Earlier this year I told you about a controversy over a baby shampoo made by Johnson & Johnson. The shampoo includes an ingredient that kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde. And formaldehyde is a carcinogen.
J&J execs say this ingredient is being “phased out.” But the very fact that it was in there in the first place is appalling.
Even more appalling is lindane. That’s the active ingredient in a head lice shampoo. And it takes “appalling” to a whole new level.
If you think formaldehyde in a kids’ shampoo is bad, brace yourself for the horrifying idiocy of lindane.
Toxic time bombs
Lindane is banned in more than 160 countries, including the U.S. But it’s not banned as a shampoo ingredient. It’s banned as an insecticide.
That’s right. It’s bug poison!
At some point, someone apparently had this train of thought. “Hmmm. This stuff kills bugs in the field. So it will probably kill bugs in kids’ hair!”
In response, nobody said, “Whoa! Bad idea!”
No. Just the opposite. Somebody said, “Let’s make a ton of shampoo with this stuff and sell it.”
And that’s what they did. It’s just stupefying.
What’s even more shocking is that products with lindane are sitting on store shelves right now. Like toxic time bombs.
You see, lindane is a neurotoxin. It’s been linked with seizures and death. It can also affect liver and kidney function. And several research groups recognize it as a possible carcinogen.
These dangers are not new revelations. They’ve been known for many years. California banned this ingredient a decade ago. And yet, the FDA still does nothing.
Last week, a congressman called on the agency to ban lindane in kids’ head lice shampoo. But as he pointed out, the danger to kids is strike one.
Strike two: Lindane gets into water supplies. (Lindane content in California water has dropped dramatically since 2002.)
And strike three is just a cruel irony: Lindane is not very effective. This increases the likelihood that lindane shampoos will be used multiple times, escalating neurological risks.
Two years ago, the National Resources Defense Council joined several other groups in calling for a lindane ban. So it’s highly unlikely that FDA officials will act on the congressman’s appeal.
That means it’s time for “neighborhood regulation.” By “neighborhood,” I mean your personal neighborhood of family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. You can do what the FDA won’t do. Urge everyone you know to ban lindane from their homes.
The time for this hideous toxin’s exit is long overdue.
"FDA Asked to Ban Use of Pesticide for Head Lice" Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today, 6/1/12, medpagetoday.com