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J R Soc Health. 1993 Aug;113(4):181-3.

Insecticides against headlice in Glasgow.

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Department of Zoology, Glasgow University.


A postal questionnaire for describing current practices of insecticide usage for the prevention and treatment of pediculosis was sent to 53 pharmacists in Glasgow. 91% returned completed questionnaires. Between 19,000 to 36,000 bottles of insecticide against headlice were bought by the public in Glasgow in 1991. Most of these were sold in small volumes (less than 100 ml) and sales were highest during the autumn. Although pharmacists sold a range of different classes of insecticide, the most popular were those that contained malathion, the treatment for pediculosis recommended by the Health Board. Choice of treatment was probably influenced by advice given to the public by pharmacists and general practitioners. Clients preferred shampoo formulations. There was evidence that treatments were used prophylactically against headlice. However, there was little indication of large scale resistance to insecticides in the louse population. The results indicate that headlice remain a persistent problem in Glasgow, despite the public adhering to the advice of health professionals.

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