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"The future will depend on our wisdom not to replace one poison with another."
National Pediculosis Association®, Inc.

Environmental Advocates of New York supports this bill.

Memo 46

A.4162 (Weisenberg, et al)

This bill bans the sale, use, and prescription of any product containing hexachlorocyclohexane, commonly known as Lindane.

Lindane, a synthetic pesticide commonly used in agriculture and as a treatment for head lice and scabies, is extremely dangerous to those who come in contact with it. It is particularly disturbing, then, that one of the most common uses of Lindane is to treat head lice on children. Absorption of Lindane’s chemical components into the skin, the digestive system and the respiratory tract has resulted in seizures and, occasionally, death. Toxicology studies have labeled Lindane a possible carcinogen. The World Health Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the federal Department of Health and Human Services have confirmed these findings. Studies indicate that farmers who use Lindane as an agricultural pesticide have a significantly elevated risk of developing non-Hodgkins lymphoma after exposure. Other recent studies report elevated rates of childhood brain cancer due to treatment with Lindane, even at recommended doses.

Lindane is also toxic to the environment. The EPA categorizes Lindane as a persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic pollutant. It enters the environment in waste water after use as a shampoo or cream. Waste water treatment plants do not successfully remove Lindane, meaning that it eventually can reach groundwater and surface waterbodies. A California study found that one dose of Lindane can pollute six million gallons of water.

There is no reason not to ban Lindane. Safer alternatives are available. The risks to children and the environment far outweigh any conceivable benefit of its use.

Environmental Advocates of New York supports this bill.



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