"The future will depend on our wisdom not to replace one poison with another."
Lindane News Archive 2001
September 30, 2001
September 6, 2001
Soiled by the natural truth
By coincidence, last week the EU moved against one of these conventional pesticides, lindane. Like the DDT which inspired Rachel Carson to write Silent Spring, lindane is an organochlorine, the last to survive widespread use. The EU called for lindane to be removed from agricultural and gardening use from 2002.
EarthFax Engineering Bioremediation
The Utah based EarthFax Engineering Company has demonstrated full scale degradation of PCP (pentachlorophenol) and Lindane pollution located in a former wood treatment facility in North Carolina.Lindane was commonly applied as a wood preservative in the past.The remarkable success with a white-rot fungi (WRF) was monitored and controlled with the help of a remote monitoring system provided by Dynamax. Over a 24 month treatment period, the PCP concentrations decreased to 3 ppm from 2,300 ppm, after excavating, mixing with the WRF inoculum in a sawdust and cottonseed base.Similarly the Lindane preservative decreased 97% to 0.57 ppm.Both treatments achieved an industrial goal, and in the case of PCP they reached the residential risk-based concentration limit allowable.Intech One-Eighty Corporation licensed the technology, and EarthFax applied the treatment and the monitoring at full scale, cleaning up 750 tons of contaminated soil.Environmental Media Services
Going, Going, Gone?
UK's Easter Egg Retailers Urged to go Lindane Free
LONDON, United Kingdom, April 13, 2001 (ENS) - It is all but banned in Europe but lindane, a hormone disrupting pesticide linked to breast cancer, could be lurking in Easter eggs.
That is because farmers in cocoa producing countries still use lindane, according to the United Kingdom based Ban Lindane Campaign. The lindane tainted cocoa turns up in chocolate Easter eggs.
A farm worker tends organic cotton crops in Zimbabwe. With government, industry and consumer support, cocoa farmers could switch to organic production methods, say campaign groups. (Photos courtesy Pesticides Action Network UK)Also known as gamma benzene hexachloride, lindane is a powerful insecticide used to treat everything from head lice to insects on timber. Farmers spray food crops with lindane, particularly apples, wheat and maize (corn).
In 1998, a European Union report prepared by the Austrian government called for sales of lindane to be suspended because of concerns about the chemical's effect on human health.
The report listed lindane as a carcinogenic substance with no safe exposure limit. It said lindane could damage the immune system and nervous system while causing hormone disruption, behavioral changes and birth defects.
Topical Lindane Prescriptions Confused with Oral Liquid Prescriptions
The onset of a new school year renews the plight of head lice infestation. Recently, concerns have focused on lice that are now resistant to permethrin, the main chemical ingredient in many popular over-the-counter lice products. Faced with this problem, lindane, a prescription topical antiparasitic product, may be prescribed.http://www.usp.org/
Prescription Lice Medication May Do More Harm Than Good
Experts Urge More Combing, Less Chemicals
By Theresa Defino
Reviewed by Dr. Tonja Wynn Hampton
Sept. 14, 2000 -- Those pesky head lice. You can spray them neon colors, bathe them in shampoo, or drown them in olive oil. And you can ask your doctor for a prescription for something, if you're feeling really desperate.
But if you're in California, chances are you won't be able to get lindane, a head and body lice medication also known by its former trade name, Kwell. Last week, the state, which often leads the nation in many environmental and health issues, banned lindane because it was fouling California's water supply. The action was also taken because of numerous reports linking lindane to seizures, death, and an increased chance of developing cancer.
The action is being celebrated by some health advocates, and many expect other states to follow California. Supporters of the ban are also pushing for the Environmental Protection Agency to impose a national ban on lindane. Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, began urging the FDA to remove the drug from the market back in 1983.
The ban "sends a message that there is a price to pay not just for the person who is using lindane; there is a large price that society pays," says Bob Truding, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Truding is also a scientific advisor to the National Pediculosis Association (NPA), the primary source of information and education about head lice for the past 10 years.Full Story
National Pediculosis Association(R) (NPA) Announces California's Governor Gray Davis Bans Lindane September 5, 2000
NEEDHAM, Mass., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- California Governor Gray Davis (D) signed Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal's Bill AB 2318 - Lindane (Chapter number 326), which bans the sale and use of the chemical lindane for treating people for lice and scabies. (Details at http://www.lindane.org.)
California Votes to Ban Lindane for Treating Lice & Scabies August 18, 2000, Reports National Pediculosis Association
The original petition to ban lindane for this use was submitted to the FDA in 1981 by Consumers Union. Ralph Nader's Public Citizen as well as the National Pediculosis Association signed on to the original petition for an FDA ban on lindane in 1983.
California however, has monitored its use and identified direct association with use for lice and scabies in polluting Los Angeles drinking water. You can find more information on the California effort at the comprehensive lindane research website www.lindane.org.
18 August, 2000
Stores named and shamed over risky chemicals
By Lucy McDonald
LEADING high street stores have been criticised for selling products containing potentially dangerous chemicals.
Kenya hosts workshop on chemicals, pesticides
The Convention controls the trade in hazardous chemicals such as
Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Polybrominated Biphenyls, used by industry, and in
harmful pesticides such as Lindane, Parathion, DDT and Aldrin, used in
agriculture. At this stage, there are 29 pesticides and industrial chemicals
included in the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure that have either been
banned or severely restricted in a number of countries. According to the PIC
Procedure, these chemicals should not be exported from any PIC member country
unless agreed by the importing country. The convention is implemented on a
voluntary basis until its entry into force. The interim secretariat is jointly
provided by the UN Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture
Lindane supplies adequate for 2001
Assuming canola acreage remains at or below last year's reduced level, lindane supplies should be sufficient to treat most of this year's seed requirements. The insecticide is widely used to control flea beetle in emerging canola, but due mostly to political pressure the manufacturers have agreed to phase it out. Production ceased at the end of 1999 and the current plan is to withdraw lindane-based products from the market this summer, when pipeline supplies will be used up. Lindane is still undergoing major safety reassessments by U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities. If these investigations confirm its safety, the product might still be revived. But this is unlikely given that North American production has already ceased. With lindane gone, canola growers will have to change to the alternatives now being introduced. These new products are more expensive than lindane-based seed treatments, but they are effective against flea beetle and have some advantages including lower human toxicity and broader-spectrum activity. The new Gustafson product Gaucho, for example, is labeled at the high rate to control early-season aphids and suppress cabbage seedpod weevil larvae and second-generation lygus bugs. 03/01/01
Head-lice checks prevent discomfort, annoyance
Kim Stephens and Jolene Talmer
Friday 18 August 2000
The Ottawa Citizen
Dr. Richard Pollack's opinion that the public is wasting its time screening for head lice in our schools is absurd ("School lice policies called 'cockamamie,' " Aug. 9).
Parents are concerned about the pediculicide shampoos used to treat head lice. Dr. Pollack fails to mention that these shampoos are pesticides with possible carcinogenic side effects. One shampoo contains lindane, a chemical that has suspected neurological effects, has not been reviewed in 30 years, and is even banned in other countries.
17 January, 2000
Victory as the Co-op outlaws lindane threat
EUROPE'S biggest farmer yesterday backed The Express campaign to ban the pesticide lindane.
The £3billion Co-operative Wholesale Society revealed that it plans to eliminate the use of the chemical on its land or by its suppliers. The ban applies to all 85,000 acres farmed by the CWS, all its suppliers of fresh produce and to Co-op brand products sold in more than 2,000 stores.
CWS has already removed lindane from domestic gardening products sold in its shops. It now plans to use alternative insecticides or different land management methods which will prevent pests occurring in the first place.
It says it is acting in response to "consumer concerns" and as a precautionary measure. The move comes just days after five major retailers - Homebase, B&Q, Robert Dyas, Boots and Wilkinson - pledged to stop selling lindane.
Contaminants travel long distances to reach the Arctic
POPs are chemical substances which persist in the environment, accumulate in the food chain, and threaten adverse effects on human health and the environment.
All the POPs
considered by the AMAP researchers have been found in air, snow, water and/or
wildlife in the Arctic.
Air monitoring in the region has found that the levels of two POPs, lindane and chlordane, show that they must have been carried there from the places where they had been used in the mid-latitudes of north America, Europe and Asia.
Exceptionally high levels of one POP, HCH (a mixture of alpha, beta, gamma and delta hexachlorocyclohexanes) were found in Russian river water, especially from the Ob in north central Russia.
DDT is still widespread in the Arctic, although in many countries it is restricted or has been abandoned.
It is still widely used in many parts of the tropics to
Why?Despite mounting evidence of environmental causes for the breast cancer explosion, our scientific and political establishments have avoided investigating them. . .
The answer is worth knowing because, in this case, knowledge could be power--the power to redirect the nation's research priorities toward a theory that might save thousands of women. by Michael Castleman
The effect of organochlorines in fat tissue is cumulative. "Food animals already have a toxic load accumulated in their own fat tissue," Falck continues, "and when women eat it, they get a much larger dose than they would from eating a vegetable containing some pesticide residue. The organochlorines become more concentrated as you move up the food chain."
An organochlorine link could also explain a recent drop in the breast cancer death rate in Israel. Between 1976 and 1986, breast cancer deaths (which had been continually rising for 25 years) dropped 8 percent.
Based on the commonly accepted risk factors, Israel's breast cancer death rate should, if anything, have increased. There was a strong trend toward delayed childbearing, and alcohol and fat consumption increased significantly.
Yet the death rate declined, and Jerome Westin and Elihu Richter, environmental medicine specialists at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine in Jerusalem, offer a possible explanation: In 1978, Israel banned three organochlorine pesticides: DDT, alpha-benzene hexachloride (BHC), and gamma-benzene hexachloride (lindane). Before the ban these pesticides had been used in cowsheds. As a result, pesticide levels in Israeli milk soared up to 100 times those in the United States. Public outcry caused Israel to ban these pesticides, and within two years, DDT, BHC, and lindane levels in milk had dropped precipitously.
Fed agencies need additional funding, scientific muscle to assess chemical threats to health, Round Table says
OTTAWA, March 8 /CNW/
In one of the cases - the decision whether to ban the gasoline additive MMT - the policies of one department contradicted the findings of another. In a second case studied by the Round Table, concerning the pesticide lindane, when one branch of government identified potential dangers, it did not trigger an immediate response by the responsible regulatory agency. "There is a clear need to increase knowledge management inside government," Dr. Smith said.
Government failing to protect against toxins, report says
Federal advisory group: More resources needed to assess risks to public
Lindane Education And Research Network
is a project of the National Pediculosis Association® (NPA)