When the Treatment is Toxic: Pesticides in Head Lice Prescriptions

Lindane is a hazardous insecticide used to treat head lice and scabies. Despite the established health and environmental dangers of lindane use and production—and the existence of alternatives—the chemical is still sold in most of the United States as a prescription drug. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has banned lindane for agricultural use because of concerns about its serious effects on the environment, and California has banned lindane in pharmaceuticals. Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused to remove it from the market, states should adopt bans on lindane to protect people and the environment.

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