"It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Lice B Gone was developed because there was a great need to have a safe, effective, convenient and affordable alternative to pesticide containing head lice shampoos."
The story begins with Jim Rompel, President of Safe Effective Alternatives, Inc. (SEA, Inc.). Jim is a 49-year-old, health minded vegetarian and daily exerciser who began his business career at the age of 11 selling Watkins Products door-to-door. After high school and graduating from college, he became National Sales Manager for a wholesale distribution company, eventually being responsible for nearly 30 sales people who serviced over 3000 supermarkets in the Midwest with specialty items.
Jim believed that good health came from combining exercise, healthy eating and vitamin supplementation. In the 80's, he became Vice President of Product Development and brought over 100 health related products to market in the areas of nutrition, vitamin supplementation, homeopathy, aloe vera, skin care, water filtration, etc. These products were marketed nationwide via mail order and direct marketing. In 1985, he was appointed president of the company and continued in the development of unique and exciting new products.
PESTS and PESTICIDES
In the early 90's, Jim was asked to oversee the operations of World Environmental Technology, Inc., a company that held a patent on an electronic system that used radio frequencies (not ultrasonic sounds) to affect pests. They were truly ahead of their time and on the cutting edge of the anti-pesticide movement. Solving pest problems without pesticides was a new and exciting concept and consistent with his views on health, safety and the environment, so he went to work with them, eventually becoming president of the company.
The electronic system was unique and versatile enough to be used on a wide range of pest problems:
* The program was taken to Mexico to help beef and pork producers, supermarkets, restaurants and the government solve rodent problems.
* A trip was made to Washington, DC to personally visit Robert Underwood, Guam Delegate, US House of Representatives, to offer help in solving the terrible brown tree snake problem on the Island of Guam.
* Assistance was offered to the Department of Defense to help them comply with a mandate stating they must reduce their use of pesticides by 50% by the year 2000.
* Numerous demonstrations and pilot studies were done with nationally known fast food restaurants, schools, supermarkets and convenience stores, making for cleaner, pest free facilities and allowing them to pass local health department inspections.
WET became a globally known name in the field of Integrated Pest Management.
During this time, much was learned about the damages, losses and health risks caused by pests as well as the dangers associated with the pesticides used to eradicate them. Jim's education was taken to the next level when he joined the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP), a Washington, DC organization that educated its members as to the dangers of specific pesticides. After studying their materials and going to their annual conferences, it became clear that the pesticides used on our crops, lawns and in our homes and businesses posed a great health risk for ourselves, our children, our environment and future generations. Knowing this disturbed him greatly and he subsequently made a vow to only use safe products and continue his fight against the misuse of pesticides.
A REQUEST FOR HELP
By a coincidental meeting at a school in Ohio, Jim met Vicki Bishop (an Integrated Pest Management expert and consultant) and Bob Stoddard (current president of EnviroSafe, a non-pesticide pest management company for schools), both form Michigan. It was Vicki's mission to help Michigan school systems comply with Regulation 637, a law regulating the use of pesticides in schools. Every school she consulted with complained to her about the growing number of children having head lice and that nothing they used seemed to be working. Vicki wanted to do something about it, especially since her two daughters had head lice when they were young and one developed Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) because of repeated use of head lice shampoos that contained harmful pesticides.
Vicki contacted Jim and discussed the feasibility of developing a shampoo that was safe (contained no pesticides), effective on head lice and nits (requiring only one application in most instances), convenient (a handy sprayer would be used to apply the product instead of pouring the shampoo directly onto the head and watching most of it go down the drain) and affordable (about $4 per application, since most shampoos cost $10-$20 per application and required two applications...mothers found it difficult to pay these high prices, especially when they had more than one child with head lice). Vicki knew that with her commitment, background and associations with schools and nurses and Jim's history of sales, product development, marketing, distribution, pest/pesticide knowledge and a commitment to safety, health and our environment, he would be the one to do it.
LICE B GONE IS BORN
Jim became interested in the project and began his research, discovering that the number of children having head lice in America was significant (over 12 million cases) and growing each year. The reason was that the head lice had developed a resistance to the pesticides (pyrethrin/permethrin) that have been used for the last 15 years in head lice shampoos. Published studies from the Czech Republic and Israel suggested there were new strains of "super lice" that could survive these pesticides. In one Harvard study, lice were collected from Cambridge, MA and Boise, ID as well as from the Philippines (where these types of shampoos are not used). The head lice from the US showed a resistance, while the Philippine lice all quickly died, signifying they had not had a chance to develop a resistance. This explains why only some of the head lice and nits were being killed after one application, requiring a second application 7-10 days later in hopes of killing the eggs (nits) after they hatched. It was nearly impossible to get complete control of the situation.
Another reason it was important to develop a safe product was that the pesticides currently being used in head lice shampoos were dangerous. With four children of his own, Jim wondered why anyone would intentionally pour pesticides on their child's head if they knew they could solve the problem without them? A light went on in his mind. If he could combine what he had learned in the last 25 years (experience gained from sales, marketing and distribution, knowledge gained from developing and bringing to market health related products, keeping his vow to solve pest problems without pesticides, being concerned about the well being of people and the environment), he could bring to market a head lice and nit shampoo that was safe, effective, convenient and affordable. A new company was formed in March of '99 with the name "Safe Effective Alternatives, Inc." and the anchor product being Lice B Gone.
The existing head lice products on the market were analyzed. Numerous ingredients were considered. Different formulas were tried and experiments performed. Finally, using a concentrated blend of enzymes derived from natural vegetable extracts, a safe and effective formula was developed which proved to be a winner.
Vicki and Jim conducted numerous field tests and pilot programs with schools, health agencies, DCFS, social services, truancy officials, mental health departments, nurses, physicians, mothers of children who had recurring problems, etc. Lice B Gone was proven to be effective on even the toughest, chronic head lice cases, as well as being safe for young children and pregnant mothers. It was test marketed in selected areas and because of its success, was introduced nationally and enthusiastically welcomed at the National Association of School Nurses Convention in Providence, RI in June, 1999.
HOW DOES IT WORK WITHOUT PESTICIDES
Conceptually, we think that if something kills, it must be a pesticide. This is not always the case. A fly swatter or the heel of a shoe can kill an insect, but they are not pesticides. Salt is not a pesticide, but when this basic substance is poured on a slug or a snail, it kills the organism by a "physical reaction".
In a sense, this is how Lice B Gone works. When the enzyme shampoo comes in contact with head lice, it creates a reaction that causes them to die, not in a neurological sense like the neurotoxins used in conventional pesticides, but in a physical sense like salt on a slug. As a bonus, it does something else that other products don't do; it works on nits! It doesn't kill them, instead it softens the glue that holds them to the hair shaft, allowing them to easily be combed out of the hair and rinsed away.
Is it important to know how or why it works? To a select few, maybe. To the vast majority, the answer is no. We don't need to know how a flower grows before we grow one and enjoy its beauty. The Indians used to use herbs and plants to treat wounds, sicknesses and solve other health problems without knowing how or why they worked. With Lice B Gone, knowing how or why it works is relatively unimportant. The important thing to know is that the enzymes derived from vegetables allows the product to work safely, effectively and economically without the use of dangerous pesticides.
WHERE CAN LICE B GONE BE FOUND
Lice B Gone is currently being sold by drug stores, health food stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, beauty salons and school nurse supply companies nationally. If your favorite retailer is not carrying it, simply give them our number and we'll give them the ordering specifics, or call us and we will contact them directly. SEA, Inc. is also working with international firms in an effort to take it to countries that also need it.
It is successfully being used by schools, nurses, physicians, parents, teachers, social services, health departments, mental health departments, women's' crisis centers, jails, prisons, beauty salons, etc. Samples are being provided free to schools districts that use EnviroSafe (800-226-0418 Grand Rapids, MI), a company specializing in pesticide-free school pest management and World Environmental Technology (877-608-0946 Osage Beach, MO), a company that offers the patented pesticide-free IPM-21 electronic system to Day Care Centers, Nursing Homes, etc. It is also offered to schools, school nurses, health organizations and selected pharmacies and retailers nationwide through BSH Supply (877-583-5408 Clarksville, MI).
For more information about Lice B Gone
See us on the web at www.s-e-a.net or contact Safe Effective Alternatives,
PO Box 528, Belleville, IL 62222 877-730-2727 or fax 618-236-2826.
(Distributorships in the US and abroad are still available)
" It is my desire to exit a better world than I entered.
Getting pesticides off of our children's heads and drastically reducing
head lice cases will certainly contribute to the fulfillment of this dream."
Jim Rompel - President