New Study Links Head Lice Treatments to Behavioral Abnormalities in Children

harmful lice treatments

More and more studies are being released about the harmful effects of drugstore lice treatments. Surprisingly, many home remedies have negative effects as well. Mayonnaise has been reported as dangerous due to suffocation and food poisoning. Tea tree oil has reportedly had a negative impact on children’s hormones and pyrethroids are now being linked to abnormal behavior in children.

An article published by, reports on a recent study in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine which found that children who have higher levels of certain pyrethroids in their system are more likely to have abnormal behaviors at age 6 than those who don’t.


A pyrethroid is an organic compound similar to the natural pyrethrins produced by the flowers of pyrethrums. Pyrethroids are used in a majority of household insecticides, meaning they are used to kill insects and pests inside and outside of the home.

Another common use of Pyrethroids is to kill head lice. Pyrethroids work by damaging the nerves of insects to eventually kill them. If Pyrethroids can kill insects, might they have damaging effects on a child? This is the question scientists asked, so they conducted some research to find the answer.

What They found

They found that “mothers with higher levels of cis-DCCA in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to have children with a higher risk of internalizing behaviors. Higher levels of another metabolite, 3-PBA, in the children’s urine was linked with a higher risk of externalizing behaviors. Overall, children with the highest levels of metabolites in their urine were three times more likely to have abnormal behavior than those with lower levels. As a result, the researchers concluded that pyrethroids might alter neurochemical signaling in the brain.”

Our Safe Alternative

This news is devastating for parents who have treated their child’s lice with pyrethroids. It’s our goal to educate as many parents about this so that future lice infestations will be handled with safe treatments such as our FDA-cleared AirAllé® device that uses controlled heated air to kill lice and their eggs. We really are the answer to safe lice treatment and we treat each child with the utmost care.


Leave a Comment: