Safe Solutions' Lice R GoneŽ is registered as a FDA Medical Device.  It is sold in the United Kingdom as Not Nice to Lice® Shampoo where it is a registered Medical Device in the European Union.  Safe Solutions' Lice R GoneŽ/Not Nice to Lice® and Enzyme Cleaners are all either food-grade materials or Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration and many other Government Agencies.



Three Types of Human Lice

Are you having a lousy time?


The head louse (Pediculus humanus capitas) (DeGeer), the body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus) (Linnaeus) and the crab louse (Pthirus pubis) (Linnaeus) all occur on humans. All three cause considerable skin irritation as they feed on human blood or crawl on the body. Typhus, impetigo, trench fever and relapsing fever have all been transmitted by body and head lice. Scratching can lead to secondary bacterial infections leaving children feeling achy, feverish and/or lethargic. Human lice can establish and maintain themselves only on humans. A louse cannot hop or jump. They can, however, crawl fast. They are usually transmitted only through close personal contact. They are less frequently transmitted through the sharing of personal articles or toilet seats. For head lice, this includes combs, brushes and other grooming aids, hats, headbands, helmets, caps, headrests, wigs, curlers or other headgear, especially when these items are stored in shared lockers. They spread or infest by crawling, they live by biting and sucking blood from the scalp and can survive for up to 48 hours off a human head, and the nits on a hair shaft can survive from 4 - 10 days - so vacuum thoroughly and/or spray/clean with diluted enzyme cleaners or peppermint soaps. Head lice infestations have been a problem a long time - Pliny, a Greek naturalist (23-79 AD) suggested bathing in viper broth. Montezuma paid people to pick nits off his subjects, dried them and then saved them in his treasury. W. Coles in his 1657 book Adam in Eden: or Nature's Paradise noted that the oil from hyssop (Hyssopus) "killeth lice." Nicholas Culpeper in his 1681 The English Physician Enlarged recommended tobacco juice to kill lice on children's heads, a very early reference to the use of tobacco as an insecticide poison. Medical historians trace head lice infestations back 9,000 years! In the U. S. head lice are not "known" to spread disease or cause serious injury - they are only considered to be "repugnant". Like other U. S. public health agencies, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention have never tracked head lice outbreaks, said official, Tom Skinner. Sometimes called "mechanized dandruff." Head lice may be nasty, itchy and very contagious, but the poisons sold to get rid of lice are even worse. Among the reactions to poison shampoo or lice "treatments" are seizures, mental retardation, many different allergies and respiratory problems, strange tingling, burning, itching, attention deficit disorders, brain tumors, leukemia, cancer and death.  We do not suggest the use of poisons to control lice.  

Head lice and body lice, which are different forms (subspecies) of Pediculus humanus, are very similar in appearance. Lice are wingless insects whose legs have claws that grip and hold onto hair shafts. Their abdomens are distinctly longer than they are wide. Their are 6 pairs of breathing spiracles. Their color, which varies from dirty-white to rust to grayish-black, usually approaches the hair color of the host. Head lice almost always occur on the head where they attach their eggs (nits) to the hair; body lice prefer to live in the seams and linings of unwashed clothing, blankets and sheets from which they periodically crawl onto the skin to feed. Although body lice usually deposit their nits on unwashed clothing fibers, the nits are sometimes found on body hair as well. Head lice can change to become the color of the host's hair.

Crab lice live only on the hairy portions of the body. Their legs are adapted to grasp hairs which are rather widely spaced, and for this reason, these lice prefer the pubic and perianal regions. However, they can be found in eyelashes, head and arm pit hair.

Female head lice produce from 50 to 150 eggs (6 to 10 nits per day) which they usually attach to hair behind the ears, on the nape of the neck and occasionally to other body hairs. Nits may also be found in sports headgear, hats, combs, barrettes, scarves, brushes, etc. and other common means of infecting a host. The incidence of infestation is greater among persons with long or dense hair, particularly when regular and thorough grooming and washing is neglected. The eggs hatch in 5 to 10 days, and the young, which resemble the adults except for size, mature in 8 to 22 days during which time they undergo three skin molts to allow for their ever increasing body growth. Adults normally live only about 3 weeks or more, depending upon conditions. They do not resist starvation well - at 75o F. all head lice die after 55 hours without a blood meal.

HUMAN LICE - Three species of lice feed on man and both males and females (immatures and adults) require blood meals to complete their development. The antennae have no more than 5 segments; the head is narrower than the thorax and the thoracic segments are fused with the abdomen. The head louse or "cootie" is bluish-gray to whitish, wingless, up to 1/8" long, usually found among the hairs of the scalp. The eggs, or nits, are attached to hairs close to the skin. The body louse is similar to the head louse but is found mainly in seams of clothing, worn close to the body. Body louse eggs or nits are attached to unwashed clothing. The crab louse is a short, broad, thick-legged insect about 1/5" long is normally found in the crotch or arm pit or other body areas with pubic hair. The eggs or nits are also attached to these pubic hairs. Except for the common cold, head lice infestation is a more common infestation than all the other childhood communicable conditions combined (6 - 20 million people become infested each year with a treatment cost of approximately $367 million dollars and untold contamination problems). All three lice suck human blood and are not found on birds, dogs, cats, farm animals or other hosts.

THE POISON RESISTANCE PROBLEM - Contemporary Pediatrics, Vol. 15, No. 11 noted: in the UK, children treated for head lice four years earlier with pyrethroid compounds (permethrin and phenothrin) needed at least 16 to 20 times the usual dose to eradicate another infestation. Laboratory-bred lice in this experiment died within two hours of exposure to 0.1% permethrin but lice from the heads of children who had been exposed to pyrethroid products took as long as 72 hours to die. In Israel, clinically significant resistance to permethrin occurred within 2.5 years of its introduction, a time span corresponding to approximately 40 generations of lice...Perhaps the most striking increase in resistance to permethrin has been recorded in the Czech Republic, where the concentration of permethrin required to kill 90% of head lice increased by some 500 times between 1981 and 1992! "

Christina Beckwith, Pharm D noted in her Head Lice: New and Improved?, "The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) is conducting a US study to determine the incidence and extent of resistance and plans to publish their results. Preliminary results, released by the NPA without the investigators' permission, appear to indicate some US lice are resistant. In a preliminary in vitro study with 209 lice from 57 children, 100% survived in petri dishes containing varying permethrin doses!"

The Spring, 1996 issue of the National Pediculosis Association's (NPA) Progress noted that for the past year the NPA has been averaging 50 calls a day reporting commercial product treatment failure - in spite of this - the continued use of these toxins - dog flea and tick shampoos, lice sprays, kerosene and/or other dangerous alternatives including Lindane are (still) being used repeatedly. Lindane was the cause of at least 70% of the reported serious health reactions to lice poison shampoos. Lindane is described by its Manufacturer as a powerful contact and internal poison. Lindane has been banned in 18 countries and severely restricted in 10 others. The FDA recommends lindane only be used where other treatments are ineffective. The majority of treatment failures involved Nix® and Rid®. Children still have live lice right after the poison shampoo. In many thousands of uses Lice R GoneŽ has controlled even resistant lice/nits safely.

Historically, the disease typhus, with the causal agent, Rickettsia prowazekii, is transmitted by body and head lice, was common where people were confined together and could not wash or delouse their clothing. This disease became epidemic within confined populations such as cities under siege or armies limited to trenches or on the move and unable to simply wash and, thereby, delouse their clothes. Typhus is a fatal disease and was so pervasive it, more than wounds of war, determined who was victorious and who was defeated in wartime. Widespread louse epidemics actually ceased being a problem when DDT dust became available in World War II. Although body lice quickly became resistant to DDT when it was intensively and repeatedly used, other synthetic pesticide poisons were then tried. (Typhus epidemics are not known to be caused by crab louse infestations.) Even with the elimination of the large scale lice infestations, people are still puzzled and alarmed when small, persistent louse outbreaks occur. Common examples of small infestations are head louse infestations among elementary school aged children, body louse infestations on people who are unable to care for themselves, and pubic louse infestations resulting from sexual intercourse with an infested partner. Try washing with Lice R GoneŽ shampoo (and if you have stubborn nits, with your favorite hair conditioner), diluted enzyme cleaners and/or peppermint soap or neem soaps, combs and saunas, or even plain soap with some borax, before using any synthetic poison shampoos. Neem extracts will also eliminate human lice. Caution: Before you apply any synthetic pesticide poison shampoos to people, first try a sauna (if your doctor permits) and/or wash the infested area with Lice R Gone® enzyme shampoo then comb out all nits with a metal lice or flea comb; allow wet enzymes to remain on the infested area and work for 10 - 15 minutes or until you feel the nits loosen and pull away from the hair shaft; thoroughly rinse and apply a good conditioner. If any nits remain, apply baby oil to hair and let soak overnight under a shower cap, or apply your favorite hair conditioner for 15 minutes. Then comb out remaining nits with a metal nit or flea comb. Repeat treatment(s) if necessary. You can be very helpful as a consultant on louse infestations and can provide a great service by discouraging any pediculicidal (poison) use other than as a last resort. Leaving decisions on pediculicide choices with parents, school medical personnel, physicians, or the infested individual strengthens everyone's confidence in the your technical understanding and discourages the application or spraying of any dangerous, volatile, synthetic pesticide poisons. However, it is not morally wrong to try to convince people to first try Intelligent Pest Management® nontoxic (personal) controls before using dangerous/useless poisons. Especially when entire families are washing everyone's hair with these poisons "just to be sure" they do not get a head louse infestation. Would you give everyone in your family penicillin as a "preventative" so they won't get strep throat? Note: Pyrethrum- or permethrin-based pediculicides should not be used by persons with asthma or that are sensitive to ragweed, should not be inhaled or swallowed or used near the eyes or allowed to come in contact with mucous membranes, e.g., the eyes, nose or mouth . Note: Pyrethrum and pipernoyl butoxide are now considered to be carcinogenic. Lindane has been identified as both neurotoxic and carcinogenic and is already banned in 18 nations around the world. No pediculicide poison should be used on infants, pregnant women or nursing mothers or on cut or abraded scalps. No poison should ever be used to "treat" lice twice if it failed the first time, clearly indicating the lice may, at the very least, be resistant or immune to that particular product/poison. There are no poisons in the Pestisafes® Lice R GoneŽ shampoo or Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaners with or without Peppermint.

Head Lice
Pedicululus humanus var capitis


Adult - Head lice spread easily and infestations often occur at all social and economic levels, especially among school children who are in close daily contact. At least 10 million children are infected each year. Infestations are called pediculosis, which is a communicable disease. They vary in color from dirty white to reddish-brown to rust to grayish black in color. If the nymphal stages are passed on a person of blonde or light coloration, the adult louse is light in color, but if they are passed on a person of dark hair coloring, then the resulting wingless adult is more pronounced in coloration. They are small - about the size of a sesame seed. They need a warm, moist habitat. They spread by crawling. We have had some reports of a strain that appear to `jump'. They live by biting and sucking blood from the scalp and can not normally survive for more than 2 days unless they are on the human head. Head lice aren't nice.  

Egg - Eggs or nits (that look like tiny white or tan dots) are usually laid by the female close to the base of the hair near the scalp and they are firmly cemented to the hair. The eggs (and the empty shell) are known as nits and are always oval- or tear-shaped, and are glued at an angle to the side of the hair shaft. They are usually tan when alive and pearly or grayish white in color after dying. The nits usually occur near the scalp (clustered in groups), but can often be found nestled behind the ears and at the nape of the neck. The hatched egg is easily identified by its opalescent and translucent appearance. Just before hatching the eyes and other structures of the embryo can be made out through the translucent shell. On hatching, the top of the egg opens like a lid. Live nits may be occasionally found anywhere on the hair shaft, but normally they are found near the scalp and they are "super-glued" on and do not flake off like dandruff. They are so hard to remove we invented the term "nitpicking" to describe the difficulty. One louse can lay 150 nits a month (normal lifetime). They hatch in about 10 days, depending on the climate. Nits need at least 82o F.; and 70% humidity to incubate. During the incubation time the respiratory passages of the louse shut whenever the nits are immersed in water and they can survive under water for over 24 hours. Nuttall (1917) found 80% laid on hair and 20% laid on flannel. The top of the egg or operculum supplies air and humidity to the developing louse.

Nymphal stages - There are three nymphal stages, all of which resemble the adult except in size and possession of sexual organs, but they do have some change in color. During the first stage the nymph is a pale straw color and has no central nervous system (CNS) and, therefore, can not be killed using volatile, synthetic pesticide neurotoxins or by poisons that attack the CNS. The poisons and the "inerts" in these volatile pesticides can and do, however, attack your CNS! The gut of the nymph is clearly visible through the almost translucent cuticle, and when the first-stage nymphs have taken a meal of blood they are shining red in color, like rubies. Afterwards the blood darkens and thereafter the gut appears purplish-black. The young nymph is able to feed almost immediately after emergence and after this feeds regularly, at least twice daily. The nymphs and adults feed by pressing the front of their heads against the skin of their hosts; a series of curved teeth around their mouths then fasten on to the skin and the piercing stylets are released from a pouch where they are normally invisible, to pierce the skin. Saliva from the salivary glands lubricates the stylets and they begin to feed on you. Enzymes create an extra "molt" they weren't anticipating and will quickly destroy live lice and help remove nits/glue. Lice can not become resistant (immune) to Pestisafes®, e.g., Lice R Gone®, or Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners with or without Peppermint or borax or heat.

Length of life cycle - The egg hatches within 8 - 9 days and the nymphal stages take approximately the same length of time. The life cycle takes place, therefore, every 18 days. The length of the adult stage in the male is about 10 days and in the female can vary from 9 - 22 days. A maximum of about 6 to 10 nits/eggs are laid each day by each female and the maximum hatch rate has been found to be 88%. All lice feed on blood every 3 - 6 hours and can only survive about 20 - 48 hours without a blood meal. Nits are the size of the period at the end of this sentence. At cooler temperatures (50o - 68o F.) eggs may hatch up to 30 days later.

Pediculus humanus capitus (DeGeer) - Adult head lice are gray and about 1/8 inch long about the size of a sesame seed. They often have a tiny dot on their backs. They thrive only on human hair and scalps. Hatching occurs about one week after attachment. Since lice go through a gradual/simple metamorphosis, the tiny nymphs resemble adults. They grow to maturity in about 10 days. Adult lice mate and the female can lay about 50-150 eggs, but often falls short of that in her life of only several weeks. Wetting the hair and rubbing the scalp with a towel irritates the adult lice and makes them move about, aiding in their detection. You may wish to simply shave off the hair and thus remove the infestation, or you may soak the hair with baby oil until you feel the nits "move" or loosen and then use a lice comb and then shampoo, or sauna and/or wash your hair with Lice R GoneŽ shampoo, diluted enzyme cleaners, peppermint or neem soap or salt water and vinegar and/or borax laundry powder before trying anything more toxic. Wash your hair with Lice R GoneŽ shampoo; leave on for 15 minutes or until you feel the nits move freely off the hair shaft, then rinse or comb with a metal lice or flea comb if you wish. If any nits remain, then use your favorite hair conditioner and comb them out. Then go to your public health practitioners for an examination. In the United States, lice live in the head hair of pre-schoolers and of children of elementary school age (only rarely on adolescents or adults). This could simply be because little children hate having their hair shampooed with soap. Lice scuttle about on the scalp between hairs with much more speed than expected of a small, soft, wingless insect with slender hair grasping claws on the end of blunt legs. They are very sensitive to dry heat, so we advise saunas and/or hair dryers rather than poison head/hair treatments. They are sensitive to oil, so we also advise adding a conditioner and/or soaking the hair with olive, coconut or baby oil to kill the lice and help remove the nits. Pestisafes® such as Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with or without Peppermint or Lice R Gone® contain basically dish soap, peppermint oil and meat tenderizer, all things to which lice are sensitive. (Be sure you are not sensitive too!) Salt water will also kill lice, but will not remove the nits.

Close adaptation locks head lice into the human scalp in several ways. First, louse claws grasp human hair so firmly that they do not fall or wander out of it and yet they can crawl fast. Second, head lice suck blood by grasping the scalp with tiny hooks that surround their mouth, and painlessly pierce the skin with slender stylets. (Head lice feed several times a day but do not engorge themselves.) Most importantly, head lice neatly glue their eggs (called nits) to the hair shaft, usually within ¼ inch of the scalp. The tiny, pearl-like eggs (they look like miniature wax tear drops) stick alongside the hair so tightly that they can be dislodged only by being torn from their neat sleeve of biological glue by fingernails or a metal lice comb or enzyme cleaners. Usually nits found further away from the scalp than ½ inch will have already hatched; what is found is the empty shell which remains attached. The easiest way to remove cemented eggs is to cut them out or try to soak the hair in vinegar or baby oil or in diluted Lice R GoneŽ for 10 - 30 minutes; them comb out with a metal nit or flea comb. If any nits still remain, apply your favorite hair conditioner and recomb. How head lice are spread from child to child other than crawling is not well known, but they do not jump off or freely wander onto coat collars or hats, since they are restricted to humans with a scalp surface temperature of around 80o F. or a little more, but head-to-head contact and sharing of clothing, hair ornaments and grooming materials are thought to be the normal routes of invasion. Temperature preference and perhaps humidity is so critical that lice easily die at elevated temperatures and from excess perspiration - so sauna! Conversely, at lower surface temperatures (about 50o F.) lice become torpid and do not move or feed. A reasonable speculation is that head louse nymphs hatch from nits on hair shafts snatched by brushes and deposited on knit hats. The tiny nymphs then move toward the warmth of the next head covered by the cap or brushed by the brush. This normally limits transmission to siblings that have their hair brushed with a "family brush" or children who share knit hats or hair brushes of friends. Get your own brush and cap and become "selfish".

Louse infestations are often discovered by school teachers who are watching for the signs of itching heads and/or frequent scratching, but classroom neighbors are not as likely to be infested as are brothers and sisters or close friends that sleep over with head-to-head contact or share combs and hair brushes and/or head gear. (American) head lice have been shown by surveys in several large eastern cities to infest the heads of Caucasian and oriental children but they very seldom infest those of African Americans (whose hair may be more oily and flattened). If you are using Lice R GoneŽ - wash your hair again in 5 - 10 days with the same protocol, if necessary. Be sure not to confuse nits with hair debris such as irregularly-shaped clumps of dandruff stuck to the hair shaft or elongated segments of dandruff encircling the hair shaft - that are easily dislodged. You have to get rid of all the nits on the hair shafts to prevent a reinfestation; use a bright light, a magnifying glass and metal (nit/flea) comb.

South Florida kids have been kept out of school 68 days at a time per Terry Meinking, B. A. at a Hyatt Regency meeting in Tampa on 5/4/99. For every 4 children found to be infested with head lice by the comb method, only 1 child was found to be infested by the visual method. The punctures the lice make while feeding and people make by scratching will transfer bacterial infections, which explains the statement "feeling lousy." Vaseline, which is a mix of mineral oil and wax, can be applied 5 times a day for a week to eyelashes if eyelashes are found to be infested with head or crab lice, but Vaseline is very flammable!

Head Louse Control - The diagnosis can be difficult as the insects tend to hide among the hair shafts in response to light or disturbance. Use a comb with parallel teeth spaced 0.3 mm or less apart and examine under a bright light or in sunlight. A study in Israel found 70% of infested children had only 1 - 10 lice. The real control problems are the nits that remain on the hair shaft (even if no longer on the head) and can hatch and "reinfest" for up to 10 days later, so soak your head with olive oil or baby oil overnight and cover with a shower cap; then use a metal nit comb and then shampoo with a conditioner in the a.m. or simply wash your hair with Lice R GoneŽ shampoo for 15 minutes or until the nits pull away, and then rinse off the enzymes, lice and nits. If any nits remain, apply your favorite hair conditioner and recomb. When combing out nits, work with small sections (1" or smaller) of hair. Keep the metal comb's teeth deep into the hair from the scalp to the end of the hair. Clean your louse comb after each stroke in dilute enzyme cleaners or hot soapy water. Keep the hair moist (use a spray bottle of diluted enzymes). Adding baby or olive oil or vinegar and/or a hair conditioner may make the combing of nits out of the hair easier. Only after trying all of the alternatives, and then only as a last resort, there are several over-the-counter (OTC) poison preparations that can be used to try to eliminate louse infestations, but we believe they are all equally ineffective and dangerous even when used according to label directions. Look at your over-the-counter head lice shampoo warnings and ingredients very closely. The Rid® 0.5% permethrin spray says, "THIS PRODUCT IS NOT FOR USE ON HUMANS OR ANIMALS. Avoid breathing spray mist. Avoid contact with skin. Use only in well ventilated areas. Avoid spraying in eyes. In case of contact wash immediately with soap and water. Vacate room after treatment and ventilate before re-occupying." The Nix 1% permethrin shampoo (which is twice as strong) says leave on the (child's) hair for 10 minutes but no longer and notes, "This product may cause breathing difficulty or an asthmatic episode in susceptible persons, etc." The 1995 Physician's Desk Reference notes that in all 3 mouse studies there was an increased incidence of pulmonary alveolar - cell carcinomas and benign liver adenomas in female mice at a concentration of 5000 ppm of the active ingredient permethrin in their food. This shampoo also has several interesting "inert" ingredients including isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol, etc. The propylene glycol MSDS says, "Avoid skin contact"; it is used in industry as antifreeze, airplane de-icer and brake fluid. It can cause skin irritation, dermatitis, erythematous plaques, CNS depression, stupor, seizures, nausea, stinging, irritation, redness, etc. The isopropyl alcohol MSDS notes it can enter into people through inhalation, skin and/or ingestion and may cause irritation to eyes and to the respiratory tract, is an anesthetic and may also cause CNS depression. Both MSDS sheets for these "inerts" require respirators or air supplied masks in confined areas and goggles and protective gloves! Propylene glycol suggests impervious clothing and equipment! The California Department of Health Sciences warned in a 1996 report there is "circumstantial evidence" of increased head lice resistance to poisons. School health workers all over the U. S. have been saying for years the pesticide poisons "registered" for scalp use were not working any more. Prescription poison preparations, e.g., lindane, may permanently harm the patient in the attempt to kill the eggs as well as live lice. The poison "cure", obviously, is far worse than the "disease".

We do not believe any of the over-the-counter poison preparations are safe or that they even control lice - recently some "health" directives, e.g., The Children's Hospital Oakland Highlight Nov. 1996 - also said these poisons do not work as directed and they have mislead people by saying you must leave these poisons on for 3 - 8 hours (under a shower cap)! See Chapter 13 and Chapter 1 on Permethrin as a poison. An Israeli study published in the British journal "Medical and Veterinary entomology" in 1995 noted that Israeli scientists blamed permethrin in particular for the head lice resistance they found. "The results suggest that resistance to pyrethroids has developed rapidly among head lice since permethrin was introduced (in Israel) in 1991." The first application supposedly kills all of the live lice. Viable nits hatch in 6 - 10 days and the second application supposedly kills that new population. These lousicides (poisons) are applied to wet hair and after a short waiting period they are shampooed out. (Remember, most researchers and health officials will tell you virtually any olive oil or soap shampoo, or peppermint soap or natural soap without these poisons will kill or wash away the lice, so simply wash your head with any shampoo daily for 2 weeks.) Advise family members they should first try: hand removal with a metal nit or flea comb, a baby oil treatment, washing their hair with salt water and vinegar, a sauna, (if your doctor permits) and/or washing with natural soap, neem soap or diluted peppermint soap, or with diluted enzymes, or (better yet) with Lice R GoneŽ shampoo (it goes farther) and a metal lice or metal flea comb and then rinse off and apply your favorite hair conditioner. Repeat the same process in 10 days at least be careful to not get any Lice R GoneŽ shampoo in the eyes - even natural soap burns the eyes.

Safety is the most important factor in your choice of lice removal techniques because the infestation does not present a real (USA) health risk to the host. Pediculicides are all classified as neurotoxin agents. There are no pediculicide poisons in the Safe Solutions, Inc.'s Lice R GoneŽ shampoo or Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme products.

Caution: 90% of all commercial soap shampoos use a detergent called sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and/or sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) that can be retained in tissues up to 5 days even after a single drop. Dr. Keith Green noted (SLS) causes improper eye development in children. SLS has a tendency to react with other ingredients to form NDELA, a nitrosamine and potent carcinogen. Researchers actually estimate the nitrate absorption of one soap shampoo is equal to eating a pound of bacon! The FDA has recently warned shampoo manufacturers of unacceptable levels of dioxin in products containing SLES. SLS is a skin irritant that can penetrate and impair the skin barrier. SLS can also enhance the allergic response to other toxins and allergens per "Dangerous Beauty" by David Lowell Kern.

Remember, decisions on the formulation/use of dangerous lousicide, treatment of head infections from extensive infestations, and so forth, are decisions that still should be made by parents and physicians. If you suspect a personal infestation, first try Lice R GoneŽ, Prell and/or salt water with vinegar before going to the doctor. All reported louse infestations of adolescents and adults should then be investigated by a physician; if live lice are not seen, the nits (if any) should be examined through a microscope to verify that they are not symptoms of other scalp conditions. Spend most of your time vacuuming and working on the infested person - not on cleaning or spraying the area with toxic poisons. If you clean, thoroughly vacuum and then use diluted enzyme cleaners or diluted peppermint soap. We do not recommend any volatile pesticide poisons. Caution: when the "normal" poison treatments don't work, some physicians prescribe stronger doses of permethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, a 5% solution rather than the 1% in Nix®. But, if lice become resistant to the weaker solution, it is likely they will also resist the stronger dose (eventually) as well...and remember...the warning on the box of Rid® and/or Brite-Life® regarding "their" synthetic pyrethroid, "Not for use on humans or animals!" Some over-the-counter poison shampoos warn you not to put these poisons on scalps that have been cut or scratched, yet virtually everyone scratches their head when they are infested with head lice. If you want some interesting reading, read the MSDS for all of the unregistered, untested "inerts" in these poisons.

Body Lice
Pediculus humanis var corporis

Appearance - The body louse is very similar to the head louse; the body louse is usually 10% - 20% larger, has thinner antennae, not as deep abdominal indentations, with better developed abdominal muscles than the head louse.

Life Cycle

 Egg - This again is generally similar to that of the head louse. The eggs are glued to fibers of clothing and are sometimes found stuck to body hairs. Most eggs are usually found in the seams of clothes which come in contact with the skin where the adults and the nymphal stages are to be found. The body louse lays about twice as many eggs as the head louse and the nits can remain dormant for a period up to 30 days.

Nymphs - Body louse nymphs spend the greater part of their time in the clothing, and feeding on the host only takes place when the host is resting or sleeping. All stages of the body louse congregate together, being attracted to each other by smell, e.g., the odor of the excrement. Body lice crawl about the clothing, generally keeping close to the host's body, although in heavy infestations they may be seen crawling outside on the outer garments.

Length of life cycle - The body louse adults live about twice as long as head lice, are more resistant to starvation and exhibit less mortality during development.

Body lice females may deposit 200 or more eggs, usually attaching them to clothing fibers. The development period is similar to that of head lice, but they may remain dormant for up to 30 days. The life history of crab lice is also similar except that the young require 2 to 2-½ weeks to mature and the adults normally live about a month.

Human lice usually cannot survive for long when separated from their host. Head and body lice leave the host or clothing voluntarily only when the host has died for becomes hot with fever or has gone into a sauna, or when they try to avoid strong light or to transfer to another host in close personal (sexual) contact. Human lice are completely dependent upon human blood for sustenance. Lice feed frequently, usually every 3 to 6 hours, and can not usually survive more than 48 hours away from the human body. Their bites cause bad itching and red spots about the size of a mosquito bite - but remember it may take as long as 2 - 3 weeks (or even more) for some people to experience the intense itching associated with an infestation of pediculosis.

Crab Lice
Phthirus pubis

Appearance - This insect is easily differentiated from the head louse and body louse by the strong thick claws of the mid and hind legs, while the claws of the fore legs are long and fine. The body is broader than long, contrasting with both other species of Pediculus humanus.

Life cycle - The egg is slightly smaller than that of Pediculus and it is glued to a body hair with more cement. The egg hatches in 7 - 8 days. The three nymphal stages do not wander far from the hair, which is grasped with the tarsal claws. Several hours are usually taken to complete each bloodsucking meal. They occasionally are found on eye lashes and eye brows.

The nymphs become adults in from 13 - 17 days and it seems probable that the length of adult life is not more than one month. Fewer eggs are laid than Pediculus. The adult is thought to be unable to survive longer than 24 hours when removed from its host.

Crab lice usually die within 24 hours if separated from their host. This short survival and their sluggish movement inhibit the spread of crab lice, except through intimate (sexual) personal contact or in extremely crowded living and sleeping conditions where they can and do spread readily. Crab lice may be (but rarely are) spread by nits on loose hairs left on bedding, towels and toilets by infested persons.

Head Lice Overview

Many diseases affect our children today, but few are as communicable and as wide spread as head lice (Pediculosis humanus captis) and few involve the repeated direct exposure of young children to dangerous, synthetic pesticide poisons - that do not even control resistant lice - some health departments and physicians have been mislead to believe children should keep these toxins on their heads - under a shower cap - for 3 - 8 hours!

Head lice attach each nit (egg) to the hair shaft at the scalp with a waterproof cement-like substance. Although lice and nits are most commonly found at the nape of the neck and behind the ears, they can be found anywhere on the scalp or hair shafts. The grayish-white nits are shaped like an elongated football with a cap at one end to admit air and allow the young insect to escape. The young nymphs have a head plate with sharp toothlike spines (the egg-burster) they use to open the egg shell. Head lice can sometimes be found on pubic hair, eye lashes and eye brows. They can normally move about 9" in a minute at room temperature. Nuttall (1917) noted lice can survive under water for 24 hours at room temperature. People say a lot of things that are lice related, e.g., "nitpicking", "gone over with a fine-toothed comb", "a lousy time", "the nitty gritty", and "wash or get it out of your hair". Hopefully, they will soon be saying they are easily removed with a good hygiene program and/or Lice R GoneŽ shampoo.

The presence of nits does not always mean that a person still has a current infestation. The nits may be left from a past infestation that no longer needs to be treated. To determine whether a person is currently infested with head lice, there must be a louse visible or usually there must be nits attached to the hair shaft 1/4" or less from the scalp. If there is no evidence of live infestation, do not treat with any poison! Simply wash with a nit remover, e.g., Not-Nice-to-Lice® or Lice R Gone® and/or a good hair conditioner. The position of nits on the hair shaft usually can distinguish between current and past infestation because female lice attach their eggs to the hair shaft at the scalp. In 1 week, the time it takes for a louse egg to hatch, the average human hair grows about 1/4", carrying the egg with it. Therefore, nits more than 1/4" from the scalp usually either have already hatched or will never hatch. They may remain attached to the hair shaft for months, but play no role in the transmission of head lice. Simply cut out or remove these dead or empty nits with a lice comb and/or wash with Lice R GoneŽ, Prell and vinegar and/or salt and/or baby oil or olive oil.

Itching is the most common symptom (caused by the blood sucking and bacterial infections, e.g., impetigo), but many people with very light infestations may experience no initial symptoms at all. Therefore, you cannot always rely on itching or frequent head scratching to detect head lice. A thorough examination of the hair and scalp is necessary to detect head lice and/or nits. Persons infested with pubic lice should be examined for accompanying venereal diseases, because there is a strong possibility that one is present with the other. Persons who think they are infested with lice should seek assistance from a physician, the health department or the school nurse and follow their instructions. These instructions may include a regular scheduled use of non-toxic Lice R GoneŽ shampoo, the regular use of a sauna, daily bathing, the routine laundering of bedding, clothing and towels in hot water; and the daily washing of combs and brushes in diluted enzyme cleaners and/or borax. The entire family and all close school contacts should be routinely inspected and undergo simultaneous treatment(s) if necessary. Try every non-toxic control including metal nit or flea combs and Lice R GoneŽ shampoo products first.

A home or school should never be sprayed, dusted or otherwise treated with insecticide poisons even when an occupant has an active head lice infestation. Lice live on their host and do not hide in wall crevices and floor cracks like cockroaches and other household pests. Treatment of homes, schools or any other dwelling with insecticide poisons would, therefore, be useless and dangerous. Cleaning of carpets, furniture, drapes, floors, etc. should be limited to simple vacuuming, or you can rinse-and-vac with enzyme or borax. Vacuuming is the safest and easiest way to remove lice or fallen hair shafts with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs, stuffed animals, (child) car seats, mattresses, carpets, bedrooms, mats, cots, and anything else that might have had contact with an infested child, when done - when finished vacuuming, put the vacuum cleaner bag outside in the trash. Even soap and water or borax will kill lice in bed linens, pillows, blankets and clothing if the water is hot enough (130o F.). All clothing and bedding used during the 2-day period prior to treatment should be laundered and dried in a hot dryer. Such high temperatures may be suitable for laundering purposes, but not for shampooing the head or for bathing the body. Dry heat, steam cleaning or pressing with a hot iron will also destroy all lice because they can survive only a few minutes at 130o F. Most home water heaters supply water at sufficient temperatures to kill lice and their nits. Washing in cold or lukewarm water will not harm them. An alternative method (if you can not wash or dry clean some items) is to seal clothing and other articles, e.g., stuffed animals, hats, and helmets etc. in a plastic bag for 2 weeks. Place the plastic bags outdoors on a porch or deck or in the garage even if the lice hatch in the bag - they can not survive if they are not fed. This will also kill all lice and their nits or you can simply wash all infested articles with diluted enzyme cleaners and borax. Combs, brushes and similar items can also be treated by soaking for 1 hour in Lice R GoneŽ shampoo or by soaking them for 5 to 10 minutes in a pan of water heated on the stove to 130o F., or by soaking and/or washing in diluted enzyme cleaners, or diluted peppermint soap and/or borax. Isn't it interesting that the EPA registered .5% permethrin Rid® label for lice control on bedding and furniture warns "avoid contact with skin, eyes or clothing. "This product (poison) is not for use on humans." Vacate room after treatment and ventilate before reoccupying. Do not allow children or pets to contact treated area until surfaces are dry." While the Nix® FDA registered lice treatment with 1% permethrin (twice as much poison) says "Saturate hair and scalp (especially behind the ears and nape of the neck) and leave (the poison) on for 10 minutes!" Do you really want to poison your kids?

Least-Toxic Head Lice Control

Note: Confusing nonviable eggs with living nits is common, as is prescribing insecticide poisons over the phone without any inspection of the scalp or eggs with a lens or microscope. Both situations may result in unnecessary exposure to a toxic pesticide poison and should not be tolerated.  

Crab or Pubic Lice Overview
Phthirus pubis (Linnaeus)

Adult crab lice are only a little over half the size of body or head lice, rarely more than 1/12" long; their last two pairs of legs terminate in hooked mitts that resemble crab claws. These lice are confined to coarse pubic hair and sometimes armpits, eyebrows and eyelashes. Pubic lice move very little in the pubic region and produce few eggs. The most common method of transmission of crab or public lice is by sexual intercourse. When infested pubic hair detaches, lice can hatch on underwear, towels, in beds, or on toilet fixtures. If their immediate environment is above 50o F., a pair of pubic lice could infest another person without personal contact.

Crab or Pubic Lice Control

Accurate, calm communications are invaluable in explaining pubic louse infestations and making recommendations for their control.

Least-Toxic Crab or Pubic Lice Control

Pediculus humanus (Linnaeus) and/or Pediculus humanus capitus (DeGeer)

Body and head lice are virtually indistinguishable in appearance and life cycle; however, their behavior is very different: Both suck blood, but body lice engorge themselves, feeding to the point that their abdomens become purple and distended. Body lice are easily reared on rabbit blood after a period of assimilation but head lice can only be successfully reared on humans. Body lice harbor on clothes, hiding along seams and moving to the body to engorge. They do not usually deposit their eggs on body hair or head hair but on clothing. While body louse epidemics can be controlled on humans by emergency applications of dangerous synthetic pesticide poisons (dusts usually), we believe control is best maintained by daily baths and daily cleaning and washing of clothes using diluted enzyme cleaners and/or borax and (if your doctor permits) saunas. Try using diluted enzyme cleaners and/or borax to wash infested clothing - Note: Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners and shampoos products may all "eat" natural dyes.

Body lice, historically the most common human louse, are now very rare in the United States. Infestations appear on those who cannot take care of themselves like homeless individuals who can not or choose not to daily bathe and to daily remove their clothes for cleaning and washing. Infested clothing passed from one individual to another also is a common method of transmission. Wash with Lice R Gone® or enzyme cleaners or peppermint soap with borax. The body louse's preference for tight places in clothing earns it the nickname "seam squirrel."

Body Louse Control

Some general application volatile, synthetic pesticide poison formulations are labeled for spraying but are of little value and very dangerous. Try using borax, salt, diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with or without Peppermint, Lice R GoneŽ shampoo first.

Least-toxic Body and Head Lice Control

To control body lice daily change into clean underwear and clothing - remember, simple laundering kills lice in 5 minutes, eggs or nits in 10 at 130o F. With daily showers and frequent changes of properly laundered clothing, a body lice infestation will eventually end without any pesticide poison treatment. For head lice: Never borrow and use anyone's hat, helmet, wig, scarf, comb or brush. Use diluted enzyme cleaners and/or oil of balsam or oil of anise, and/or borax and/or peppermint (especially with enzymes) or neem soap and/or Lice R GoneŽ shampoo. Be sure you are not sensitive to any of the above-mentioned products.


Scabies is a contagious (catching) disorder of the skin caused by very small, wingless insects or mites called the Human Itch mite or Scabies itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis (Hering). The female mites burrows into the skin where she lays 1 - 3 eggs daily. A very small, hard to see, zig-zag blister usually marks the trail of the insect as she lays her eggs. Other more obvious symptoms are an intense itching (especially at night) and a red rash that can occur at the area that has been scratched. The most common locations for scabies are on the sides of fingers, between the fingers, on the backs of the hands, on the wrists, heels, elbows, armpits, inner thighs and around the waist (belt line). They also infest various body orifices including noses, ears, etc. Anecdotal comments have noted they are more visual between 4 - 6 p.m. If untreated, the female will continue to lay eggs for about five weeks. The eggs hatch and the new mites begin the cycle all over again. The mites themselves are too small to be seen without magnification. One of the great problems with scabies always has been misdiagnosis. Scabies is spread by personal contact, e.g., by shaking hands or sleeping together or by close contact with infected articles such as clothing, bedding or towels. It is usually found where people are crowded together or have frequent contact, and is most common among school children, families, roommates, and sexual partners. Scabies can be spread by the mite itself or by the egg. Prompt action is required to rid a person of the mites and eggs. Sulfur has been used (6 - 10% in lotion or cream) since Roman times as a scabicide, but you might be allergic. Castor oil continually applied for 8 hours may suffocate the females. Take Not Nice to Toxins®.

If you think your child or someone else in the family has scabies - Try a sauna and/or try bathing, washing or soaking in diluted Not Nice to Scabies®, Lice R Gone® or diluted enzyme cleaners, sulfur and/or borax - then call your medical provider to be sure you are no longer infected.


Please also see Chapter 20 for more on scabies.

The above measures are suggested to help prevent reinfestation. However, even the medicated (poison) lotion treatment for scabies does not provide long-term protection and resistance and/or reinfestation is always possible. So watch and practice proper prevention - Remember to try to avoid the use of poison on your person or child at all costs. There has been some discussion of using ivermectin (orally) to control scabies. Try Not Nice to Toxins® first.

Testing - According to the American Academy of Dermatology the most common test involves applying a drop of sterile mineral oil to the suspected lesion. The site is then scraped with a scalpel and the scrapings are transferred to a slide. Under a microscope, the doctor should be able to find scabies mites, their eggs and/or feces. Another option is an ink test, in which the doctor applies a blue or black felt-tipped pen to the suspected areas. Then the skin is cleaned. Mite burrows can be revealed if the ink sinks into them.

Spot Treatment(s) - Take ½ oz. of Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner or ½ oz. of Lice R GoneŽ and dilute in a cup of water. Put a (1" x 1") gauze pad over the infested area(s) and keep the pad(s) moist (using an eye dropper) for at least one hour (or spray as needed). Use this technique on the infested area(s) daily for at least 2 weeks and/or as needed.

Bathing - If you decide to use Lice R GoneŽ or diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner, use no more than 2 oz. per bath (You can also add 1 cup of borax or kosher salt to your bath water.), add body temperature water (not hot) up to your hips and soak for at least 30 minutes. Use a wash cloth and keep the entire body wet. Keep out of eyes. Bathe in solution at least once a week for 2 - 3 weeks and/or as needed.


Resistant lice infestations are so common now that people are using these dangerous over-the-counter poison shampoos for far longer periods or more frequently than they should and if you think this is "bad" - on 11/1/96 Warner Lambert manufacturer of the product Nix® received FDA approval to market this poison as a prophylactic agent! - Lice are already resistant to permethrin poison as reported in the U. S., Canada, the U.K., Israel and Czechoslovakia - but children are not resistant to these poisons. In the Winter/Spring/1997 issue of NPA's Progress a mother who lost her son to leukemia after she repeatedly shampooed his hair to "prevent" lice found an issue of Chemical Engineering News (in order to find a correlation with Nix® and Lindane) which had an article on the phasing out of chlorinated hydrocarbons. It included a specific chart which included a listing of endocrine disrupters. Synthetic pyrethroids such as permethrin found in Nix® were included in the chart with different herbicides, fungicides and pesticide poisons. They were all in the same category in terms of the health effects - and the negative effects were many!

"Treating" actual lice or scabies infestations with lindane can cause many adverse health problems including permanent seizure disorders and severe mental retardation. In February, 1993, Barre National, a generic lindane lotion manufacturer, settled the Santiago family's Massachusetts lawsuit for severe brain injury. Previously the pharmacy that sold the poison had settled with the family. In 1986, a pediatrician prescribed 2 ounces of Kwell (1% lindane) lotion to treat Jose Santiago's scabies infestation. (The Kwell brand product has been withdrawn from the market.) The pharmacist sold Mrs. Santiago 4 ounces of a generic brand. Mrs. Santiago applied it to her baby nightly for a week. Today, 9 year old Jose has a permanent seizure disorder and has only developed to the level of a 3 year old. Lindane is an organochlorine pesticide poison in the same family as the banned carcinogens DDT and chlordane. Lindane has been linked to serious brain injury and seizure disorders, and it is suspected of causing cancer, birth defects, fetal toxicity, developmental neurotoxicity, blood dyscrasias and reproductive disorders. In 1983, Public Citizen's Health Resource Group petitioned the FDA to ban all medicines containing lindane, as more seizures and brain damage kept being reported.

The National Pediculosis Association (NPA) had an article in the spring 1994 NPA's Progress written by a school nurse, Judy Magee. In 1992 she conducted a survey of 27 families with 119 children. She found: (1) 23% of the children had been "treated" with (doctor-prescribed) lindane. Only one of the six families said they used the lindane as prescribed. Most used this dangerous carcinogen more frequently, left it on longer or incorrectly used it with an oil based product. (2) Over the counter lice control products containing pyrethrins or pyrethroids were used on over 90% of the children during the past year. Only 18% of the families surveyed used the poisons according to label direction. (3) 32% of the children were "treated" with dangerous "home remedies." One mother rubs Black Flag Roach Killer into her children's hair every day. Raid, flea soap, kerosene and/or the illegal roach product Chinese Chalk were also used. (4) The label directions on common lice poison products are written at a ninth or tenth grade reading level. One-third of U.S. adults read at or below the eighth grade level. One-quarter of the families Judy Magee surveyed could not read English.

The June 1998 issue of the Landsculptor noted: 6 year old girl serious after hair washed in pesticide

Oklahoma City (AP) — A six-year-old girl whose hair was washed in an agricultural-strength pesticide was in serious condition Friday in the hospital. The man who washed the child's hair Wednesday told police he didn't realize the potency of the Diazinon he used to try to kill head lice. The chemical was intended for licensed commercial use only. It has a neuromuscular paralyzing agent that is extremely toxic to humans. The child went into cardiac and respiratory arrest after her mother's friend washed her hair at the kitchen sink. The man called 911 when she stopped breathing and police used CPR on the child until they could reach paramedics. The doctor who treated the girl said it could be weeks before they can assess any permanent damage. "The girl had CPR very quickly and that is beneficial," he said. "But she received a very large dose on an absorptive surface, so it will take a while until the poison runs its course. We washed her hair over and over again and she still smelled strongly of the chemical." The detective investigating the case said the girl's mother told him she got the container of Diazinon while cleaning an empty real estate property. The container was clearly marked with poison warnings.

In May, 1994, the federal German Environmental Protection Agency issued a warning about the indoor use of any insecticide sprays containing pyrethroids. Pyrethrins are derived from a chrysanthemum flower; 2000 years ago the Chinese use dried flowers containing pyrethrum to kill fleas and lice. Synthetic pyrethroids were initially developed to be synthetic analogs to pyrethrins, but molecularly their structures have greatly diverged. Pyrethroids kill by affecting the nervous system, and their mode of action appears to be similar to DDT's. Many pyrethroids contain halogens, e.g., chlorine, bromine or fluorine atoms and as the German EPA warns they also attack human health. Permethrin, resmethrin, allethrin, tetramethrin, cyfluthrin, fluvalinate, fenvalerate and phenothrin are all synthetic pyrethroid poisons. The unregistered roach killer Chinese Chalk appears to contain a very toxic pyrethroid called deltamethrin. We never advise using any volatile, synthetic pyrethroid or lindane or malathion shampoos on your child.

Even the least-toxic, over-the-counter pesticide poison shampoos or lotions containing pyrethroids (e.g, permethrin) or pyrethrins can cause many health reactions in many humans, e.g., many different allergic and respiratory problems (especially severe in asthmatics) and a strange tingling, itching and/or a burning skin sensation called paresthisia are common health complaints. That is why they have so many health warnings on them. Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is a synergistic toxin added to many insecticide poisons, especially to pyrethrin and pyrethroids, to make them more lethal "to insects." PBO makes it harder for insects to detoxify (and anything else to detoxify, including you.) The Eleventh Edition of the Merck Index on page 1266 under Pyrethrin has this caution: Can cause severe allergies, dermititis, systemic allergic reactions. Large amounts may cause nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, headache and other CNS (Central Nervous system) disturbances. (Note: Both pyrethrin and pipernoyl butoxide are now considered to be carcinogenic.) In Shirley A. Briggs' "Basic Guide to Pesticides" she notes that acute (one time) oral exposure to permethrin has a low to high toxicity, that nothing was known about acute dermal toxicity and that acute inhalation toxicity was also low to high and that long-term or chronic toxicity could cause blood damage. There is a Washington Post article that quotes Cheston Berlin Jr. a pediatrician and pharmacologist as saying "many doctors are recommending to their patients several different lice shampoos that are available without prescription. Most rely on the chemicals permethrin and pyrethrins as active ingredients, which are (supposedly) "nontoxic" in humans because they are so rapidly metabolized." Someone ought to tell the good Doctor what pipernol butoxide does - it stops this metabolizing process and is twice as strong in these shampoos than it is in a can of Raid®! The eighth edition of SAXS Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials notes, "Piperonyl Butoxide (C19H30O5) Safety Profile: Poison by skin contact. Moderately toxic by ingestion and intraperitoneal routes. An experimental teratogen. Experimental reproductive effects. Many glycol ether compounds have dangerous human reproductive effects. Questionable carcinogen with experimental tumorigenic data. Mutation data reported. Combustible when exposed to heat or flame; can react with oxidizing materials" SAXS also noted, "Pyrethrins Safety Profile: Moderately toxic to humans by ingestion. Poison experimentally by ingestion, intraperitoneal and intravenous route. Experimental reproductive effects...can cause gastrointestinal, respiratory and central nervous system effects. A dose of 15 grams (only a little more than ½ ounce) has caused the death of a child. Chronic exposures can cause liver damage." A 37-year old woman developed severe shortness of breath five minutes after beginning to wash her family dog with D-Flea® insecticide shampoo containing pyrethrin. Her death shortly after her arrival at the nearest hospital was attributed to sudden, irreversible, bronchial spasm from exposure to the pyrethrin shampoo. According to a report by Paul M. Wax of Rochester, New York - Clinical toxicology (32:4, 1994) - NPA noted that while this report was not associated with head lice, the NPA has had reports that are using pet (poison) shampoos on children - because of all the "treatment" failures they have been having with commercially available lice treatments/poisons. If you think the Raid® example was bad, I noticed an advertisment from FMC® in the May 1998 Service Technician/PCT that proudly proclaims the termiticide (poison) they sell to use against termites is the same active poison ingredient used as a lice shampoo for children! Then FMC® notes that in soil degradation studies conducted all acoss the country this termiticide poison (permethrin) has been shown to be the longest lasting soil poison! - Implying that if your children get lice you can simply have the termite man spray their heads with the longest-lasting soil poison on the market today! Amazing! Many thousands of people have safely gotten control of even resistant head lice and nits with Lice R Gone® Enzyme Shampoo and Nit Remover.

"Our" Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not expected to make a decision on the re-registration of PBO until at least 1996. "Our" Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still maintains that lindane products are "safe and effective when used as directed!" This in spite of all of the contrary health evidence and the federal law that clearly states it is illegal to say any pesticide poison is "safe". On March 16, 1994, "our" EPA stated that lindane will remain on the market while it (slowly) compiles more health data on its risks. Note: way back in 1977, EPA initiated a special review of lindane due to all of the known and suspected health problems and negative environmental effects then — yet no serious action has yet been taken. Prescription lindane lice and scabies poisons are still being used on children by family members and in hospitals, schools and other institutions. Lindane is also still being used to treat Christmas trees, agricultural seeds, livestock, pecans, logs and lumber, ornamentals, forest trees, pets, households and other buildings and assorted fruits and vegetables! Bon appetit!

Propylene glycol is used as an "inert" in many over-the-counter shampoos. The Spectrum® Material Safety Data sheet notes propylene glycol's potential acute health effects as: very dangerous in case of ingestion. Slightly dangerous to dangerous to dangerous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation. Very slightly to slightly dangerous in case of skin contact (permeator). This product may irritate eyes and skin upon contract.

Intelligent Pest Management®

Lice - Typical First Strikes by Housekeeping & Maintenance

  1. Thoroughly vacuum each room daily wherever lice have been a problem and spray carpets and floors with Not Nice to Bugs® or (1 oz. per quart of  Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with or without Peppermint per quart of water) or mop floors with 1 oz. per gallon. Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners and borax.

  2. Give parents and teachers a copy of this entire chapter on Lice.

  3. Give whoever asks a bottle of Lice R GoneŽ shampoo for each family and this chapter. This non-poisonous shampoo makes the hair so slick they can't stick and lice can not live off the body for very long. You only need to give one bottle of Lice R Gone® shampoo to treat an entire family. (Only ½ oz. of Lice R Gone® will remove the lice and nits on a long-haired person in 5 - 10 minutes.)

  4. Assign each child his/her own locker or hook.

  5. Read the entire chapter.

Note: Lice are host specific; there are lice that attack goats that will not attack cattle. There are lice that are common external parasites affecting cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry and other livestock. Many organic farmers are looking for safe ways to control these pests without using dangerous, synthetic, chemical insecticide poisons. They should first try a fine-toothed metal lice or flea combs, Lice R Gone®, Not Nice to Fleas® Shampoos or diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner. Vigorously shampoo with Lice R Gone® Enzyme Shampoo for 10 - 15 minutes and then, while still wet, comb with a regular comb to detangle the hair and then a fine-toothed metal flea or lice comb should be used to comb 1" sections of hair in order to remove the loosened nits. Then manually inspect the hair for any remaining nits before you rinse.

There are two kinds of lice that affect cattle/cows: biting lice and sucking lice. Lice are passed between animals as they feed or crowd together. Biting lice move along the topline (spine) and are about the size of a pin head, straw-colored and soft-bodied. Biting lice feed on dead skin and hair follicles. They are very common on cattle, sheep, goats and swine. Sucking lice are blue-black and very small; they are attached to the skin. Inspect for them by scraping the skin with a knife and shaking the scrapings onto a stiff piece of white paper. Wash or (better yet) dip each animal from nose to tail with Basic H® or another natural soap or diluted enzyme cleaners or the veterinary put-up of Lice R GoneŽ shampoo and borax . Repeat treatment in 2 - 3 weeks. The enzyme cleaner wash should still be effective in a dip tank and should control many other ectoparasites. Mix at a rate of 1 quart of Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with or without Peppermint to 50 gallons of water.

The word "lice" in Hebrew is "kinim" - one of the plagues God sent to punish Egypt was lice - even to this day parents and farmers respond to lice like they are truly plagues. Exod. 8:16-18

A staggering 20 million Americans find out each year we live in a lousy world - when they become infested or plagued with lice! The really lousy part of this is many are treated repeatedly with dangerous, volatile, synthetic pesticide poisons that no longer control the lice; some people have treated their children 10, 20 and even 30 or more times with over-the-counter poison shampoos without getting rid of the lice!

Caution: Before "treating" with any volatile pesticide poison shampoo or lotion or even a regular soap shampoo, read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for not only the active poison ingredient, but also for all of the "inerts." Never apply any pesticide poison shampoo in the shower. The warm, close environment can allow a dangerously high amount of the poison to be absorbed. Observe all warning labels. Do not use a shower cap. These "registered" poisons are especially dangerous for pregnant or nursing women, children younger than 2 months, or anyone with asthma.

Start combing - Once lice are detected, plan on spending one full day for each initial treatment, then daily for at least 2 weeks. Give yourself at least an hour per head - and with long hair, as much as two hours per head. Make sure your child is comfortable and occupied. Use an entertaining video, arts and craft project or coloring book to keep your child entertained and engrossed. Use a bright light, magnifying glass and metal (flea/nit) comb. Comb through each strand from top to bottom, removing nits with fingernails, combs, blunt scisscors or tweezers. If the nits will not budge, snip off the hair. Recheck your child's head every 3 - 4 days for several more weeks. Start cleaning - Everything that has been in direct contact with the infected child - bedding, clothing, towels, toys, dolls, cars, furniture, hats, combs, brushes - must either be vacuumed, laundered or dry cleaned daily; any items that can not go through the washer or the dryer or be thoroughly vacuumed should be placed in sealed plastic bags and kept isolated for at least 2 weeks.

The 1997-1998 head lice season had been particularly bad. Even in February, 1998 school nurses and parents were still telling us that children had their head lice "treated" with poisons 10 - 20 or more times! Some children's parents were using over-the-counter poison treatments virtually daily to treat" the resistant lice, even though the poison shampoo labels clearly warn people not to use these toxins more than once every 2 weeks! Never use any volatile, synthetic pesticide poison more than twice after it fails the first time! Lice R GoneŽ shampoo do not contain any registered pesticide poisons and have safely controlled even pesticide resistant lice.

Enzyme Cleaner/Shampoo Caution: Enzyme cleaners are also used to clean contact lenses; after rinsing, the contacts are put directly into the eyes. This is the safest way to clean contact lenses. Occasionally someone will have a sensitivity to enzymes and should avoid contact with all enzyme cleaners or shampoos. Enzyme cleaners are very efficient cleaners; before using them on anyone else I washed my own hair with the concentrate Lice R Gone® for over 5 years and even though I am chemically sensitive I never got any reaction. At the time I rewrote this Chapter 16, I personally saw that 20,000 of children in our schools had used Lice R Gone® and had safely removed all of their nits and lice and never got any reaction. Pediculicides or poison shampoos can kill people and do not control lice or nits and comparing these dangerous, useless poison shampoos with Lice R Gone® Enzyme Shampoo makes no sense at all. Lice R Gone® not only safely cleans away lice and nits, but also cleans the hair shafts and follicles and loosen dirt, grease, soap, makeup, previous poison shampoos, lotion, hair spray, hair conditioners, dead skin, perspiration salts, dyes and other residue material and debris that have accumulated on the head and hair. If you get any soap or enzyme cleaner or shampoo and other debris in your eyes, flush them with cold water per the label directions. If your eyes still burn, have your doctor order Lacralube or Bacitracine for your eyes.

When you allow all of the above debris to get in your eyes, these materials may cause a eye irritation or burning - but not the enzymes in Lice R Gone®; the entire enzyme cleaner ingredient list has had ocular testing. The only things that could possibly cause any eye irritation are the surfactants as they are simply in regular soap shampoos. Soap shampoos can also burn the eyes; usually people simply rinse them out with water. If you get Lice R Gone® or any cleaner in your eyes, immediately flush with copious amounts of cold water. If you have previously used poison shampoos, hair spray or rinse, do not use these very effective cleaners/shampoos in a shower. 

Lice R Gone® is the newest enzyme shampoo with which I have worked. (Note: This product is called Not Nice to Lice® in the U.K.) Only ½ oz. is needed to wash away the lice and nits in a few minutes on a long-haired person. These products are considered a FDA medical device in the U. S. and U.K.

Borax Caution: Do not use on damaged or unhealthy skin. Do not use on children under the age of three. Avoid ingestion and rinse thoroughly.

Correctly Prescribed Drugs Take Heavy Toll — On Wednesday, April 15, 1998 Rick Weiss wrote in The Washington Post, "More than 2 million Americans become seriously ill every year because of toxic reactions to correctly prescribed medicines taken properly, and 106,000 die from those reactions, a new study concludes."

If you decide to use the dangerous poison shampoos or pediculicide poisons, you won't get control because the lice are already immune or resistant to these poisons; if you doubt this check out

How to use Lice R Gone® Shampoo (Note: Called Not Nice to Lice® in the U.K.)

Safe Solutions, Inc.'s Lice R GoneŽ is safe and economical enough to use as a weekly shampoo for the whole family to prevent reinfestation.

If there have been any previous pediculicide treatments, or there are any remaining nits, massage in a small amount of hair conditioner. With one hand under a 2 to 3 inch strand of hair, carefully insert the teeth of a fine-toothed comb or steel-toothed nit comb between your hand and the scalp. Keep the comb's base tight against the strand of hair, and gently pull both hands to the end of the strand. Hair conditioner should help make the comb glide through each strand of hair easily. After combing each strand, clean the lice and the nits from the comb between your thumb and finger into the sink under the hottest water you can comfortably handle. Repeat this procedure until all the hair has been combed and nits removed. Rinse hair, dry and style as usual. If all the nits and lice are not gone in 30 to 45 minutes, you can immediately treat again. Lice R GoneŽ shampoo can be used as often as needed. Lice R GoneŽ shampoo is gone after the first rinse. Always remember to keep enzyme cleaners, shampoos products out of the eyes.

Will protease enzymes harm the hair? While hair is made of protein, it is covered with several overlapping layers of cuticle that protect it from being destroyed by protease enzymes. The saliva in your month also contains enzymes. You are also made of protein, yet you do not dissolve. A short treatment using Lice R GoneŽ shampoo actually helps the hair by serving as a clarifying treatment for the hair. A clarifying agent will also serve to remove harmful residues.

Final Lice Notes: At several conventions I have repeatedly heard that (resistant) lice are living for many weeks in plastic Ziploc bags and/or for months in plastic bags. If this is true, it is vital that people with infested children greatly improve their housekeeping.

Final Nit Notes: If you have previously used poison shampoos, you may have "welded" some of the nits on your hair shafts. It is believed the poisons negatively impact the nit glue. Lice R Gone® effect the nits in a very dramatic way; when you pinch the nits after the shampoo they "pop" and a "cold cream" type material comes out of the nit, but if they are still hard to remove, simply put some hair conditioner on the wet hair; wait 10 minutes and then comb - it will help remove the nits. Cider vinegar will also help loosen nits. Simply keeping the hair wet 30 minutes expands the hair shaft and cracks the glue.

Isopropyl Alcohol Caution: Some "safe and effective, non-toxic" lice shampoos contain essential oils that can create allergic responses and rubbing alcohol which is highly flammable. Isopropyl alcohol should never be applied to irritated skin or allowed to come in contact with eyes or mucous membranes. We do not advise using this "safe" product on children's heads.

Class Action Lawsuits: The Associated Press noted: The FBI is investigating a $225,000 "payment/settlement" by Warner Lambert Co. to two lawyers hired to sue the pharmaceutical company over whether its head lice (poison) shampoo (Nix®) works. The agreement dated August, 1997 specified the pharmaceutical company would pay the two lawyers $225,000 to drop the class action suit and turn over the names of the 90 people who asked to be plaintiffs. Warner Lambert specified the only relief for the would-be plaintiffs who said Nix® didn't work (even when they followed package directions to the letter) consisted only of refunds, and Warner Lambert specified it would pay no more than $10,000 total in refunds.

FINAL CAUTION: There have been some recent reports of head lice that have not only become resistant to pesticide poisons, but actually have mutated and are now living under the scabs with their nits. No amount of combing will remove these pests. Only Lice R GoneŽ shampoo will remove these resistant pests. Head lice normally must pass through 3 instars or molts in about 18 days before they are able to reproduce. If you suspect mutant lice, wash with Lice R Gone® every 2 weeks until the condition improves and your scalp is healed. Lice R Gone® is an extremely efficient shampoo and can lift pediculicide shampoos, pesticide poisons, hair spray glues, rinse-in hair color and other debris and irritants from your hair and scalp. If you use Lice R Gone® and you have previously used hair spray or hair color or have used previous pesticide (poison) lice shampoos, it is advised you do not use this product in the shower. Always keep Lice R Gone® and the debris it loosens and cleanses out of your eyes and off your face, especially if you have used hair spray, hair color and/or lice (poison) shampoos. If you get anything in your eyes, flush with copious amounts of water. If your eyes still burn, have your doctor order Lacralube of Bacitacine for your eyes. Spanish instructions can be found at

On September 19, 1999, the web page noted that Harvard University researchers last week announced they had found head lice that were not susceptible to permethrin, the active "registered" poison ingredient found in most popular lice treatments. A 1995 Israeli study had found lice resistant to similar pediculicide poisons.


Lice R Gone®/Not Nice to Lice® and/or Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with or without Peppermint products  can be purchased from:

1. Safe2Use at 1-800-931-9916; web site:

2. Safe Solutions, Inc. toll free at 1-888-443-8738; web site:

3. Safe Solutions UK  +01234-210818.;  Not Nice to Lice UK (Sold as Not Nice to Lice)

These safe and effective products are also currently available at some retail locations. If you are a drug store and need to order Lice R Gone®, call one of the numbers given above.  (In the United Kingdom inquire about Not Nice to Lice®.)

Salt - Simply swimming or bathing in the ocean or simply bathing and/or shampooing with salt water once a week on a routine basis will control all lice infestation, but not the nits.

Cider Vinegar - Helps loosen/dissolve nit glue so the nits can be combed out.

My Grandfather told me there are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to be in the first group - there is less competition there. _ Indira Gandhi

Enzyme Caution: Be sure you do not create your own "mix" of enzyme cleaners. There are various stabilizers used in Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaners, Lice R Gone® to keep each formula from spoiling. Changing, diluting and/or adulterating the formula may harm the product and/or you. It is not good to use more product than you need. Follow the label directions carefully.

The National Pediculosis Association's

Vol. 13 No. 1

Winter/Spring 1997


When treating my child for head lice, I never thought about the harm I could be bringing to him. I thought about the anxiety all mothers feel when they find bugs in their child's hair. Never imagined that I might actually be causing Jesse's death. If I had only known or even had a clue.

In telling my story, I have decided to remain anonymous because talking about what happened is so difficult. It requires me to confront my demons, and I don't know if I will ever be able to do that. These memories remain vivid nightmares that haunt me through the night. If I think about my role in Jesse's pain and suffering, I'll never make it through the day. I fought so hard to help him live, it's hard to confront the fact that I may have contributed to his death.

One Mother's Story

Jesse's Story

The nightmare began in 1984 when there was an outbreak of head lice in the elementary school. Several children were discovered to have head lice, including my second son. Our pediatrician prescribed Kwell® shampoo never telling me anything other than the fact that it could cause eye or skin irritation. I used the Lindane shampoo on my family, sprayed the house, and had it exterminated. I had a refill of the Lindane so I used it twice that first time on all of my children. I did all of the shampooing myself. About two months later, I watched Jesse playing "Superman" as he jumped from the couch to the love seat. When he was in midair he caught himself in the stomach and appeared to be in a lot of pain. My husband, realizing that I was worried, told me to take him to the emergency room. After being examined, the doctors told me that Jesse had an enlarged spleen which I thought had been caused by his accident. The doctors decided to do some blood work and found that his lymphocytes and white blood cell count was irregularly high.

Not knowing the cause, they decided to keep him overnight to do a liver and spleen scan. The next morning they sent us home with some iron drops for an iron deficiency. When the drops didn't bring his hemoglobin up, they scheduled Jesse for a bone marrow biopsy. By that time, I already suspected the worst. I had researched the possible diagnoses and knew his symptoms pointed to leukemia - acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Jesse was hospitalized for six weeks until he went into remissions through chemotherapy. I stayed with him the entire time. The doctors asked a lot of questions about our background. Had there been a history of leukemia? Was there chemical exposure? There were no questions about pesticides or treatments for head lice so I didn't make the connection. It never crossed my mind. Never.

Jesse responded well to chemotherapy. He never looked sick. He was resilient and the entire family pulled for him. Our entire focus was on getting Jesse well. He was only two at the time. Eventually, things got back to normal as Jesse ingested chemotherapy orally once a week for three years. The doctors told us that if he relapsed it would happen within six months after coming off chemotherapy. We were excited to pass the six month and then ninth month marks. We were finally feeling more at ease about his recovery and Jesse's entry into the first grade. Prior to the start of that school year in 1987, I shampooed all of the kids' hair. We always hear about increased cases of head lice when children go back to school and it always strikes a chord with me because I am very hygiene conscious. So I went to the store and bought NIXŽ over the counter and used it on all of us - including Jesse. It was nine months after his remission.

About six-to-eight- weeks after, Jesse's cancer came back. The doctors were shocked because his type of cancer had such a high cure rate and he had passed the nine month mark typically indicating a complete recovery. It boggled everyone's mind. Because there was no perfect match for a bone marrow transplant, he was put on a new two year protocol for chemotherapy with new drugs. The doctors believed he had a 70% chance of remission. Jesse did well. When he came off the second protocol he was doing well. About six-to-eight months later I shampooed the kids' hair again for back-to-school. Six-to-seven weeks later Jesse relapsed again. We took him to a prominent medical facility on the East Coast for a bone marrow transplant. My daughter, who was now 16 months old, was an identical genetic match. It was in 1991 and we lived there for long periods of time while the transplant was conducted., Jesse skated through the entire procedure and the doctors felt it went well.

We came home and everyone felt good about things. Jesse had stayed out of school for five months so that his immune system could get back to normal. It was mid-August 1992, and I again shampooed the kinds' hair with NIXŽ because it was once again back-to-school time. We went on vacation for a week and when we returned we took Jesse in for lab work to find that he had relapsed again and this time he was completely full of leukemia. In a "normal relapse" after a bond marrow transplant experts usually find that they missed some of the original chromosomes from the leukemia patient. They resurface, multiply and divide and create leukemia again. Jesse was one of the twelve documented cases in the world where the patient had relapsed even though the tainted cells had been completely removed. This was a red flag to me. When I received the news, I panicked that my daughter's marrow was leukemic, but the doctors told me her marrow was perfectly clean. Jesse's relapse indicated that there is something in the environment that may be triggering transformation.

It was at this time that I began to make the connection between Jesse's relapses and the head lice treatments. The week before we went for the lab work, I found two lumps at the back of Jesse's neck. That's when it hit me. Every time I used head lice treatments, Jesse relapsed. I broke into a cold sweat and started to panic. I was eaten up with guilt so I talked to my sister who is a nurse midwife in the area, as well as the doctors at the bone marrow unit. They told me that thousands of children use head lice shampoo each year and that not many get leukemia. But I am close to these people and they know me all good well. Even if they believed my theory, they would never admit it to me because they know it would destroy me. I went to the library to research in the hope that I could proved that my suspicions were wrong. What I found devastated me. I found an EPA pesticide fact sheet which defined Lindane as an isomer of benzene hexachloride. I also found that there was sufficient evidence to support the dangers of exposure to benzene and that many reports associated leukemia with benzene exposure. That explained the Lindane I used, but I also used so much NIX ® after which Jesse consistently went into relapse. So, I looked to find a correlation with NIX ® and Lindane and found an issue of Chemical Engineering News which had an article on the phasing out of chlorinated hydrocarbons. It included a specific chart which included a listing of endocrine disrupters. Synthetic pyrethroids such as Nix ® were included in the chart with different herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. They were all in the same category in terms of their effects. And the negative effects were many.

I had never heard about the National Pediculosis Association or the concept that it teaches. I was born in a time when you pulled out a can of RAID® or OFF® spraying it freely to avoid bugs and mosquitoes. I never considered those chemicals as dangerous. They were just part of everyday life. I never considered it until this nightmare happened to me. I now understand that everything is in balance in your body until something knocks that balance starting a chain reaction. Lindane knocked the balance in Jesse's body. I just didn't have a clue. Why didn't I figure it out before it was too late?

Jesse went in for another transplant and he did very well. Soon after he went into seizures and they never understood why. He even pulled out of that. He was amazing. On the 4th of July he had trouble breathing and we took him to the hospital. It was the beginning of the end. The chemotherapy has caused his lungs to harden and he had trouble breathing. They gave him oxygen but he wasn't getting better. They did a lung biopsy and found pneumonitis, a hardening of the lung tissue. He ended up on a respirator. When he began moving air in the bottom part of his lungs, they turned down the respirator but his lung tissue was still sore and fragile. As he took his breath his lung tissue tore. Soon after he had a heart attack. His blood pressure dropped. They put in a pacemaker. finally, his blood pressure was so low that I was told that even if his blood pressure rose, Jesse would never be the same. That was when I knew he was gone. That was when I stopped praying he would live. Jesse died on September 11, 1993.

Jesse was my soul mate. There has never been, and will never be, another person in my life with whom I connected as I did with Jesse. I go through life like a robot now, feeling betrayed and existing only for my other children so they will have a Mom, even if her spirit is broken. I will never be the same. I'll never smile again, not inside anyway.

Today, the Leukemia Society's brochure states the only two known causes of leukemia are radiation and benzene. I have learned that there isn't a system that's out there to protect mothers and children like Jesse and me. People need the facts. If I had done this knowing the facts, that would be a different story. But that isn't the case. I believe the lice sprays, the Lindane and the NIX® contributed to Jesse's illness and death. I feel the same about my husband's leukemia which was diagnosed in 1992. The kind he has takes five-to-ten years to appear, supporting my contentions. He has been given the same prognosis as Jesse. Fearful for where this will all end, I can only hope that my story will help others.

The End


"A Mother's Story" is only one of many tragedies associated with the hazards of treating head lice. Since May 1994, the NPA's National Reporting Registry has received hundreds of adverse reaction reports associated with all the commercially available lice and scabies pesticidal treatment products.

Each year hundreds of thousands of poorly informed parents apply potentially harmful pesticides to their children's scalp or skin to kill head lice or scabies. Education is vital. There are too many families yet to be reached and too many children unnecessarily put at risk. Help us to reach parents before they treat their families.

"The dramatic threat of ecological breakdown is teaching us the extent to which greed and selfishness...are contrary to the order of Creation." — Pope John Paul II

"Humanity now stands biologically between the alternatives of suicide and worship." — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Catholic Priest and Scientist


Lice R GoneŽ


Remember, Safe Solutions, Inc. do not sell any of their products as pesticides.

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