SOMERSET parents were urged not to follow health authority advice on how to eradicate head lice because of possible ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ side effects on their children.

Father of four, Mark Purdey, 35, of High Barn Farm, Elworthy, warned in 1989 that the use of Carylderm shampoo and lotion could make normally placid children violent and constantly irritable.

He said: “It can also cause insidious harm to the IQ and memory, and effect learning ability and dreams.

“Carylderm contains a nerve poison called Carbaryl which can effect people in this way even at low levels.”

But both health authority and the shampoo manufacturers have maintained that Carylderm was safe to use.

Roger Smith, council spokesman, said: “Obviously the shampoo has to have something in it which will kill off the headlice. But provided people care not to get it into their eyes, ears and mouths they should come to no harm.”

Carylderm shampoo contained one per cent Carbaryl.