Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health
For Immediate Release: March 11, 2009
Mike Shriberg, Ecology Center: 734-761-3186 x108
House Committee Overwhelmingly Passes Restrictions on Dangerous Pesticide Lindane
Health, medical and environmental organizations praised the Michigan House Great Lakes & Environment Committee for overwhelmingly advancing important legislation (HB 4402) protecting children's health today.
In a bipartisan vote of 11-3, members of the Committee approved the common sense restrictions on the use of lindane, a hazardous pesticide used in pharmaceuticals for the treatment of lice and scabies. The full House passed an identical measure by a more than two-to-one margin in 2008.
“This is an important vote for children's health,” said Ken Fletcher, Director of Government Affairs for the Michigan Nurses Association. “We applaud legislators for supporting this measure, and urge the House to quickly pass the bill.”
“This vote will help stop a persistent, bioaccumulative toxic chemical from entering the Great Lakes,” said Christy McGillivray of Clean Water Action. “Many thanks to the sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Dan Scripps, and for the leadership of House Committee on Great Lakes & Environment Chair Rebekah Warren for prioritizing children's health.”
In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory for lindane. The agency recommended lindane-containing products be used with caution for infants, children, the elderly, and those who weigh less than 110 pounds, as they may be at risk of serious neurotoxicity.
In 2006, lindane was voluntarily withdrawn from agricultural uses.
Lindane is also no longer used in the U.S. in the military or on livestock. Yet, lindane is regularly applied to the scalps of Michigan children.
HB 4402 would require lindane be used only under a physician's direct supervision. Major health organizations support the bill, including the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Michigan Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, the Michigan Association of School Nurses, the Michigan Pharmacists Association, and the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan. Major environmental organizations also support the bill, including the Michigan Environmental Council, Clean Water Action, Ecology Center, Sierra Club and Michigan League of Conservation Voters. The Michigan Department of Community Health does not recommend lindane use for either head lice or scabies and supports the legislation.
“The state's prestigious medical and health authorities are calling for a restriction on the ingredient lindane,” said Mike Shriberg, Ph.D., Policy Director for the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health & the Ecology Center. “We thank the Committee urge swift action on the House floor and in the Senate to protect the public from this toxic pesticide.”
The Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health is a coalition of health professionals, health-affected groups, environmental organizations, and others dedicated to a safe and less toxic world for Michigan's children.
Members include: * American Academy of Pediatrics (Michigan Chapter) * Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) * Association for Children's Mental Health * Autism Society of Michigan * Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination * Clean Water Fund * Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice * East Michigan Environmental Action Council * Ecology Center * Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan * Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of Michigan * Local Motion * Michigan Coalition for Children and Families * Michigan Environmental Council * Michigan Nurses Association * Science and Environmental Health Network * Voices for Earth Justice
Mike Shriberg, Ph.D.
Policy Director, Ecology Center
117 N. Division Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734-761-3186 ext 108