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Because You Love Your Children, Don’t Use Lice Products with Pyrethroids

If you love your children, you won’t want to use lice products that use pyrethroids. Here’s why.

Pyrethroids are the class of pesticide used by the most popular over-the-counter (OTC) lice products. That’s right. These products use pesticides. For decades, parents have been dousing their children’s heads with toxic chemicals to treat head lice. Pyrethroids are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring pesticide, pyrethrin. They are widely used in agriculture and also in the home to control fleas and head lice and in wearable products such as anti-mosquito clothing.

There are two reasons not to use products that contain pyrethroids. First, they are increasingly ineffective. Researchers have been tracking the growing resistance of head lice to pyrethroids. The most recent study (Journal of Medical Entomology, 2016) found that 98 percent of head lice in most states now carry a genetic immunity to the chemicals.

The second reason to avoid pyrethroid-based lice products is that pyrethroids have been linked to health problems in children.

  • A study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine found children of mothers that had high levels of pyrethroids in their system when pregnant were more likely to have behavioral health problems at age six.
  • Research presented by the Endocrine Society found a link between pyrethroid exposure and premature puberty in boys.
  • Environmental Health journal published research that found a link between pyrethroid exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a national sample of children.

“Pyrethroids are neurotoxins (nerve poisons) that work by making cell membranes more permeable (easy to cross for various molecules),” according to Professor Jean-François Viel, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Rennes in France. “This can impair nerve transmission in insects, as well as humans.”

If you are looking for a more loving (and safe) way to treat head lice in your family; there is good news. Lice Clinics of America, the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment centers, offers a pesticide-free, chemical-free solution. Lice Clinics of America clinics use the AirAllé device, an FDA-cleared Class I medical device clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs.

Developed by researchers at the University of Utah, AirAllé uses carefully controlled warm air to dehydrate lice and eggs, and most treatments take about an hour.

There is not a lot to love about head lice. But there is no point in using products to treat a condition that a) does not work and 2) could harm your children.

Not only does the AirAllé device take the stress and anxiety out of getting rid of head lice, but it is also safe, fast, and effective.

Lice Clinics of America also offers non-toxic lice prevention and treatment shampoos developed by the same research team that developed AirAllé. For more information or to find a clinic, visit

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