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Daily News Archive
From April 2, 2002

Lindane Blamed for Death of Eight-Year-Old

A coroner has concluded that the most likely cause of eight-year-old Sharna Richardson's death was lindane, though she consumed only a tiny amount.

Sharna was playing outside with other children in August 2000 in St. Leonards on the Sea in Sussex, England. One child had some Doff brand ant powder, which they were sprinkling on nearby ants. Sharna was seen licking the white powder off of her hands, became sick later that night and later died.

Doff ant powder contains only low levels of Lindane. A Doff representative said that a lethal dose for a child of Sharna's weight would be 640 milligrams of lindane, approximately one third of the bottle (20 mg/kg body weight). Sharna is estimated to have ingested less than a teaspoon.

"Sharna's case reveals just how dangerous this chemical really is," says David Buffin of the Ban Lindane Campaign.

A European Union decision on July 13, 2000 called for a statutory withdrawal from sale of lindane products by June 20, 2002. Several European countries have already banned all uses of lindane, including Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden. It has also been banned for all uses in Finland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand (since 1990), Norway (since 1991), and Turkey (since 1978). Several developing countries, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia and Mozambique have also banned the chemical. Lindane is currently undergoing review for reregistration in the U.S.

For more information about lindane, see our factsheet.