Can lice shampoo really increase a child’s risk of cancer?

If your child has contracted head lice, you will likely have to treat him or her with over-the-counter medications to remove the lice and eggs. One of these insecticides, lindane, has been used in lice shampoos for years and was originally considered to be safe for topical use. However, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has issued a warning against lindane, stating the shampoo may increase the risk of cancer.The report contained some staggering facts about lindane dangers:

  • The panel of IARC specialists has classified lindane as a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning that it has the ability to cause cancer in humans.
  • The use of lindane as an agricultural insecticide has been banned since 2009 under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. A special exemption to the ban allowed the drug to be used as a treatment for certain insects and mites (including lice and scabies).
  • Epidemiological data and animal research conducted by the agency showed an increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in people who have suffered agricultural exposures to lindane.
  • Studies of affected victims in the United States and Canada showed a 60 percent increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma after lindane exposure.

What Should I Do if My Child Has Been Exposed to Lindane?

You should consult with your pediatrician about the possible side effects of lindane, and look for alternative treatments if your children contract lice in the future. If your child has been diagnosed with cancer, you should speak to a dangerous drugs attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a case against the manufacturer of the lice treatment. Call Wayne Wright today at 210-888-8888 to begin your free consultation.

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