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The Norwegian government plans to enforce stricter requirements for the use of hydrogen peroxide treatments, warns a treatment specialist.

AQS is one of the companies which provides services in connection with treatment with hydrogen peroxide in Norway, employing 80 people along the coast. Ove Løfsnes, company MD, told kyst.no that he is surprised by the negative press surrounding peroxide treatments, stressing that – when diluted – it is a harmless oxidant that breaks up into oxygen and water.

Although he is convinced that the authorities will not prohibit the use of the drug, he warns that wellboats that undertake hydrogen peroxide treatments will soon require emissions permits.

Alternatives

The use of hydrogen peroxide in the treatment against sea lice has received much attention lately in Norway, after several fishermen argued that shrimp stocks have been decimated by the use of the chemical.

Although researchers claim that this cannot be correct, as the drug in highly diluted state does not affect the environment, Løfsnes believes that it is worth investigating alternative treatment methods, in case H2O2 regulations become too strict. Indeed, he adds that AQS is currently working hard to develop various other methods of treatment against lice.

“It is still too early to go into details about this, but we are collaborating with Sintef and the Veterinary Institute to develop new methods,” he said.