Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fragrance Chemical Useful In Treating Head Lice Problems

Poseidon scientists discovered that the menthol derivative, menthol propyleneglycol carbonate, is useful in eliminating lice in hair.

Cases of head lice, particularly in children, are in the upswing in many countries. This is again worrisome for public health and school officials now that the children are back at school. It takes only one infected child to re-infect the entire class. The conventional treatment involves the use of insecticides, such as pyrethrins and pyrethroids, which cause paralysis and death to the louse. If this fails, the next step is to use a more dangerous chemical called malathion. But, resistance against these chemicals have developed over the years so that insecticide resistant head lice can now be found in parts of the US, UK and other countries. Resistance to five different insecticides has been observed in some strains of head lice. While there have been numerous natural alternatives and repellents in the market to treat head lice, these products have been ineffective in scientific studies.

Poseidon scientists, working on nontoxic approaches to control insect pests, recently found a new use for a derivative of menthol called menthol propyleneglycol carbonate or MR08. This compound, commonly used in toothpastes as a cooling agent to give a 'fresh minty feeling,' turned out to be a versatile chemical with a wide variety of other biological actions. MR-08 proved to be very unpleasant.

Source - Medical News Today


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