About Community Hygiene Concern
Hygiene is the science and practice of maintaining health.
Community Hygiene Concern (CHC) is a not-for-profit charity set up in 1988 to protect people, especially children, and pets, from parasites commonly found in the UK.
Our aim was to formulate and resource sustainable control and eradication strategies based on sound science. Our work draws together the expertise of all parties with a practical contribution to make to the evidence/experience base.
Originally we addressed pediculosis (infestation with lice) scabies, pesticides for topical use, enterobiasis (threadworm infection) toxocariasis and toxoplasmosis. The life-cycle of both ‘toxos’ involves household pets, dogs and cats in the case of toxocariasis, and cats only for toxoplasmosis.
From 2007 our work centred on development of the Bug Busting solution to head lice and nits. Head lice produce symptoms of minor medical consequence, but cause enormous distress. Anyone with hair can catch head lice, but children are the most vulnerable. Both lice and the vendors of ‘quick fix’ products thrive in a society deskilled in rational thinking about personal parasites.
CHC developed and promotes Bug Busting wet combing to support the conversion of family anxiety about head lice into proactive prevention.
The work of CHC was part-funded by the UK Department of Health from 1990 to 2006, with specific funding from 1995 combined with NHS policy support for Bug Busting wet combing.
The King’s Fund grant-funded our work from 1990 to 1999.
We won one of the first ten Smith Kline Beecham IMPACT awards for excellence in community health in 1998.
The Network for Social Change funded CHC’s Shared Wisdom on combs and combing. Read the back story told in Our unusual mission and CHC’s legacy documents Louse Detection Methods and Comb Design and Differing definitions and outcomes of “wet combing” in the eradication of head lice.
The UK National Lottery Charity (Community Fund) supported our Bug Busting Community Involvement project and funded an independent clinical trial of our 1998 Bug Buster Kit run by The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. For more information see Multi-country reviews shows that Bug Buster kits reduce head lice and social stigma, 2007 (pdf) , Dr Nigel Hill (1961 – 2010) , Independent study proves that Bug Buster Kit treatment is four times more effective than neuro-toxic insecticides British Medical Journal, 2005. In this study it was found that the combs in the 1998 Bug Buster Kit out-perform those in the 1996 model studied by Robert et al. 2000. The instructions for use were similar for both models. It was concluded that “The success of fine toothed combing depends on the choice of comb” whilst following the Bug Busting wet combing instructions methodically. Bug Buster Kit users learn how to detect lice easily even when there are very few on the head, how to break the life-cycle by systematised combing, how to recognise re-infestation during the treatment period (something no medication can do) and how to check that any treatment has really worked as claimed on the packet.
With so many ineffective single-use treatments on offer, better for health and the planet to keep the reusable Bug Buster Kit to hand: use with love and save on costs!
© CHC 1998-2023