Jellyfish Lotion - Does It Work?

Safe Sea lotion advertises "stops stings from jellyfish" can we assume that includes lethal box jellyfish? No!


This lotion may well protect against certain jellyfish as claimed BUT it's not proven to protect against the killer box jellyfish species.

http://www.buysafesea.com/

Chironex and Irukandji are the two most dangerous box jellyfish as discussed on this blog. While the manufacturers Nidaria and Thailand/Malaysia distributers Oceanline do not say that their product protects against the world's most deadliest animal, they do not claim that it does not - yet they link their lotion to the killer species and speak in general terms about 'jellyfish'. An irresposnsible and potentially dangerous act AND as it has already been pointed out to them, an act that could catch up with them in the courts if a user of their product were to be badly stung.

A lot has previously been said about this and that detail is embedded in this post below so no point going through it all again now.

However, after ALL of that, Safe Sea is at it again!

Having pulled their online presence in 2009 after linking their product with the current local box jellyfish news and initial wave of uncertainty and fear using text, images and links to indicate their possible prevention; Oceanline line head honcho Steffen Kochan vowed at the time to ensure that testing would be conducted on Thailand's Chironex sp. jellyfish. Well, that has not been done and even more alarming is they're back. And this time, the focus is on children with Nidaria announcing the release in February 2011 of their 'New Kids Safe Sea' lotion in Thailand.

http://www.nidaria.com/Nidaria/Templates/showpage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=10000&FID=850

Jump to the Oceanline website that has reappeared unchanged and note that they claim that there's "is the only product that was tested and proven to be effective against jellyfish." And that Safe Sea is about to inflict the same false and potentially dangerous sense of security to Malaysia and Indonesia, two other countries in the region with confirmed human fatalities from Chironex box jellyfish.

http://oceanline.asia/

Nidaria has posted test results - have a look and see if you can find anything on Chironex or Irukandji .. you won't. There was testing on other species of box jellyfish, Chiropsalmus, though this is a lesser species not associated with killing people and as jellyfish marine scientists will atest, not all species are the same, not all stinging cells or nematocysts are the same, not all species of Chironex are the same (the Australian fleckeri species does look quite different to the Thai Chironex) - complete effacacy MUST be proven. It is simply not good enough to say that the product sort of works at around 70-80% for one type of jellyfish then assume it will protect 100% from a lethal untested species.


PREVIOUS BLOG ON SAFE SEA LOTION:


Dear All,




















A product now on the market in Thailand is Safe Sea which claims to prevent jellyfish stings. Its been around for 10 years or so and is very popular in the USA. Its developer Nidaria is based in Israel and tested the lotion on several species of jellyfish mainly it seems in Florida and Japan.










While Safe Sea according to some studies (detailed on that company's website http://www.nidaria.com/) demonstrates a certain level of efficacy with certain species of jellyfish, NO testing has been undertaken on the world's deadliest animal that is reponsible for numerous deaths in Thailand and hundreds worldwide, the chironex-type box jellyfish.









The product is being marketed in Thailand by a company called Oceanline who throughout their advertising refer loosely to the Box Jellyfish while mentioning fatalities and showing images of stings. The danger is that this is misleading and could provide a false sense of security with their customers while at the same time undermining the efforts of the Thai government and others working towards better prevention and treatment methods.









Safe Sea is popular and may well help prevent stings of some jellyfish and other marine stingers however it is not proven on Thailand's killer jellyfish and if there is no scientific evidence then it should not be relied on.









Following is some dialogue between a team of box jellyfish experts including myself and Nidaria that should shed some light on this issue and note it's a reasonably lengthy read:









Dear nnnnn,









We have been following the recent renewed correspondence about the proposed marketing of Safe Sea in Thailand. As you are aware, there are a group of us, including some well-known medical and marine biological jellyfish experts, who have been closely monitoring the situation with dangerous jellyfish in Thailand and we are all very concerned about the introduction of Safe Sea at this point in time.Let us re-state some important facts:









1. There is definitely at least one variety of potentially lethal box jellyfish found in Thai waters. This includes the Chironex species as well as other chirodropids, currently unidentified, but probably just as venomous . There is absolutely no doubt about this as we have received good photographic evidence of these jellyfish, and have extensive evidence from numerous cases over more than a 20 years of the distinctive scarring caused by the stings of these particular jellyfish.









2. There have been numerous documented deaths caused by jellyfish in Thailand over many years: we currently have an article in print with details of a number of documented deaths and “near-misses”. The death of the Swedish girl last year was certainly not an isolated case, although to date it was the one that received the broadest media attention. We also have a steadily increasing number of case reports of life-threatening stings, including those with permanent scarring as well as those producing Irukandji syndrome.









3. Substantial experience from northern Australia over many years has shown the importance of effective prevention strategies. To date these have included the wearing of protective clothing, suitable netting, appropriate signage and education. As a result, despite the presence of large numbers of dangerous jellyfish at certain times of the year, there are very few serious stings.









4. The Safe Sea may have been shown to be an effective barrier to the stings of certain species of jellyfish. However, it appears that there is absolutely no evidence that it is effective in the prevention of stings from life-threatening box-type jellyfish, especially Chironex.









5. We are further concerned that even if Safe Sea should someday be demonstrated to be “as effective” for Chironex-type box jellyfish as it claims for other species (i.e., 75% efficacy, in reducing the frequency and severity of stings), this is still unacceptably high for otherwise unprotected exposure to lethal species. In light of the above, we consider it to be irresponsible and dangerous to promote an unproven product in an area where the consequences of using the product could prove fatal. It is likely that tourists and Thai locals would be lulled into what could well be a false sense of security by using Safe Sea instead of taking preventative measures that have proven to be effective. Severe stings or deaths occurring without added protection of these preventative measures we suggest could have ongoing consequences.









Receiving FDA approval from Thailand does not indicate that the product is effective against Chironex-type box jellyfish stings and can be misleading in this context.For all the above reasons we implore you to refrain from marketing Safe Sea in Thailand until such time that it has been independently demonstrated to be effective against the potentially lethal species found there and it is established that this product effectively prevents envenomation when interacting with these species.









Sincerely,



John Lippmann OAM, Executive Director DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) ASIA-PACIFIC



Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services



Dr Peter Fenner MD (London), DRCOG, FACTM, FRCGP Box Jellyfish expert



Dr Ken Winkel, Director Australian Venom Research Unit



Andrew Jones Father of jellyfish sting survivor















Direct Marketing email from Oceanline (sorry pics not attached showed stinger suits and nets in their worst possible light while a blonde Scandinavian looking girl of around 10 years smiles and swims next to an image of chironex stings of victim possibly deceased):









As you are probably aware, the number ofjellyfishworldwide is increasing dramatically. InThailandalone we find beaches infested with jellyfish more than ever before.



The tentacles of all jellyfish sting, but fortunately most stings only cause minor problems. There are however also some verydangerousjellyfish out there. In Thailand many accidents with jellyfish have been reported which led to beach resorts in Thailand being instructed to carryvinegaras a first-aid treatment (you might remember the sad story of the Swedish girl who was killed by a box jellyfish in November last year).



Protect your customers, yourself and your family from painful jellyfish stings!



There are 3 kind of protections available on the market:



Stinger Suits



Safe SeaJellyfish Sting Protective Sun Screen Lotion



Swimming Nets



-waterproof-



Our company,OceanLine, is proud to be the exclusive distributor in Thailand of the revolutionary productSafeSea2-IN-1 Sunscreen Lotion with Jellyfish Sting Protection!



SafeSeaLotion was developed through 10 years of bio-technological research, partly funded by the US Navy and the United Nations. Worldwide it is the only lotion that was tested in FDA certified hospitals and proven to be effective against jellyfish stings (test results on file). Safe SeaLotion has been available in America, Europe and some Asian countries for some years already.



The Health Ministry of Thailand and the Phuket Marine Biological Center are in the process of raisingawarenessof the dangers of jellyfish stings. OceanLines SafeSeaLotion is already available at some hotels, supermarkets, dive and surf centers and we aim to have it available in all major beach tourist areas in Thailand in the near future.



http://www.oceanline.asia/"



Address: 84 Taina Road, T.Karon, A.Muang, 83100 Phuket - Thailand



Tel: 076-330640 Fax: 076-330544















Dear all









Thank you for your concern and studious monitoring of the jellyfish situation and its potential threat. Please allow me to introduce Nidaria technology and its clinical research as well as the benefits of the use of Safe Sea in Thailand. Following this letter I trust that you will agree that Safe Sea is a very important safety measure among the various systems protecting bathers from jellyfish sting. Your collaboration with Nidaria in "providing safety in the ocean" would be highly appreciated.



Nidaria technology was established by marine biologists specializing in stinging mechanisms and jellyfish venom systems. Our scientific work was published in Nature magazine (attached) and was the first to define a path way to isolate Jellyfish sting to polypeptide primary structure. With the use of antibodies we were able to understand the Nematocyst (Jellyfish sting mechanism) toxin delivery systems. This work was heavily funded by the UN (United Nations). Further research in the US allowed the development of jellyfish stinging cell inhibitors and the blocking affects of different compounds on stinging cell discharge. This scientific work paved the way for the development of Safe Sea "Sunscreen that provides protection from jellyfish sting at sea".



This concept was clinically tested for the first time at Hospital against Rhopilema in 1999. During the Years 2002 - 2004 the US Navy and US Ministry of Defence sponsored a set of clinical field tests to evaluate Safe Sea on a world wide scale. These tests were conducted in Stanford hospital and other leading medical centres worldwide. Under this project Safe Sea protection against jellyfish sting was tested against more than 10 different types of stinging Jellyfish, including 4 types of box jellyfish; amongst others Charybdea and Chiropsalmus quadrigatus, a close relative of Chironex and known by its common name in Japan as HABU Kurage (Zootaxa, 2030: 59-65 (2009)).



Further to these tests the product was tested in field tests at the ocean by the University of Minnesota, providing very good results (attached). Today Safe Sea is being sold all over Europe, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and the USA, providing good protection for millions of beach goers around the globe. Safe Sea’s claims was recognized and reviewed by the US FDA, EU authorities, Japanese Ministry of Health and other regulatory agencies.



Below you’ll find (in blue) Nidaria’s comments to your concerns. Nidaria would be happy to provide more information to demonstrate that Safe Sea provides safety at the beach. We have been following the recent renewed correspondence about the proposed marketing of Safe Sea in Thailand. As you are aware, there are a group of us, including some well-known medical and marine biological jellyfish experts, who have been closely monitoring the situation with dangerous jellyfish in Thailand and we are all very concerned about the introduction of Safe Sea at this point in time.



Let us re-state some important facts:









1. There is definitely at least one variety of potentially lethal box jellyfish found in Thai waters. This includes the Chironex species as well as other chirodropids, currently unidentified, but probably just as venomous . There is absolutely no doubt about this as we have received good photographic evidence of these jellyfish, and have extensive evidence from numerous cases over more than a 20 years of the distinctive scarring caused by the stings of these particular jellyfish.



Jellyfish stings in Thailand are a problem. It is estimated that out of the 14.5 Million tourists coming to Thailand resorts each year, about Six Million are going to enter the sea and may experience jellyfish stings of varying degrees.



Several protection options are available for tourists:



1. Regular Sun care or bare skin without any protection at all.



2. Using Safe Sea, a sunscreen that reduces the number of stinging cells that would penetrate the skin by 90%.



3. Using safety clothes.



4. Use safety clothes as well as Safe Sea.



Knowing the situation and the use of sunscreen at the beach, it is expected that the biggest portion of the tourists would select option 1. Options 2, 3 and 4 would be selected by those who are seeking more protection at sea. It is unlikely that all tourists and beach goers in Thailand would protect themselves from Jellyfish sting, however, every convenient and proven protection would reduce the risk of jellyfish sting. Offering a sunscreen with protection of jellyfish sting would benefit those who want to have the freedom of "being at the ocean with bathing suit"



2. There have been numerous documented deaths caused by jellyfish in Thailand over many years: we currently have an article in print with details of a number of documented deaths and “near-misses”. The death of the Swedish girl last year was certainly not an isolated case, although to date it was the one that received the broadest media attention. We also have a steadily increasing number of case reports of life-threatening stings, including those with permanent scarring as well as those producing Irukandji syndrome.



The death of the Swedish girl was very frustrating information for me. I have spent some time in Okinawa discussing child deaths due to Habu Kurage stings with MDs. They all confirmed that if 10% of the child’s body is covered with Habu kurage tentacles the situation can become life threatening. After testing Safe Sea against Habu kurage it can be concluded that risk of death due to exposure to that jellyfish can be reduced or eliminated by the use of Safe Sea. The likelihood of death for a child is dependent on the quantity of venom that penetrated the skin due to the discharge of stinging cells. It is expected that unprotected skin would be exposed to 2000 stings per square millimetre. Using Safe Sea, which inhibits jellyfish sting mechanism, would reduce the stinging cell penetration to 100-400 stings per square millimetre. This would reduce venom penetration quantities and the likelihood of death. In other words, in the case of kids, like the Swedish girl, the use of Safe Sea can mean the difference between life and death.



3. Substantial experience from northern Australia over many years has shown the importance of effective prevention strategies. To date these have included the wearing of protective clothing, suitable netting, appropriate signage and education. As a result, despite the presence of large numbers of dangerous jellyfish at certain times of the year, there are very few serious stings.



It is clear that "protective clothing, suitable netting, appropriate signage and education" can reduce the threat of jellyfish sting.



Knowing that the last child that lost his life was from Northern Australia, the advance system to protect from Jellyfish stings in that territory cannot eliminate jellyfish stings 100%. Even in Northern Australia and elsewhere in Australia many people experience jellyfish stings and can benefit from the use of Safe Sea.



The Northern Australia systems are not available in Thailand. Moreover, uneducated tourists visiting Thailand are mostly not willing to wear protective clothing. For this demographic Safe Sea has great added value and protective measures against jellyfish stings.









4. The Safe Sea may have been shown to be an effective barrier to the stings of certain species of jellyfish. However, it appears that there is absolutely no evidence that it is effective in the prevention of stings from life-threatening box-type jellyfish, especially Chironex.



Please find below a partial list of the tests that were done to demonstrate the protection level of Safe Sea against Jellyfish stings.



Ø Stanford Hospital (USA, CA). Efficacy of "Safe Sea lotion" in preventing Chrysaora jellyfish stings in normal volunteers.



Ø RAMBAM Hospital (Israel). "Evaluate of the tested material to prevent skin irritation induced by Rhopilema Nomadica jellifish sting on Human Subjects".



Ø University of Minnesota, USA. A randomized, controlled field trial for the prevention of jellyfish stings with a topical sting inhibitor



Ø RAMBAM Hospital (Israel). Randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of tested material in preventing Mediterranean Rhopilema jellyfish sting in normal volunteers



Ø RAMBAM Hospital (Israel). Efficacy of tested material in preventing jellyfish sting in normal volunteers after seawater exposure (water resistant).



Ø RAMBAM Hospital (Israel). "Evaluate of the tested material to prevent skin irritation induced by Rhopilema Nomadica jellifish sting on Human Subjects.“



Ø Kio Planing (Japan) Testing protection level of Safe Sea against Chrysaora sting.



Ø Kio Planing (Japan) Testing protection level of Safe Sea against Box jellyfish sting Charybdea rastonii Haeckel.



Ø Kio Planing (Japan) Testing protection level of Safe Sea against Blue botle jellyfish sting Physalia



Ø Kio Planing (Japan) Testing protection level of Safe Sea against Box jellyfish sting Chiropsalmus quadrigatus.



Ø Bert Fish Medical Center (USA, Florida). Efficacy of “Safe Sea Lotion” in preventing Chiropsalmus jellyfish stings in normal volunteers.



Ø RAMBAM Hospital (Israel). "Evaluate of the tested material to prevent skin irritation induced by Rhopilema Nomadica jellifish sting on Human Subjects."



Ø RAMBAM Hospital (Israel). "Evaluate of the tested material to prevent skin irritation induced by Rhopilema Nomadica jellifish sting on Human Subjects".



Ø Germany, Cream formulations protecting against cercarial dermatitis by Trichobilharzia.



The list includes 3 different types of Box Jellyfish, including Chiropsalmus quadrigatus, which was recently identified as Chironex (Zootaxa, 2030: 59-65 (2009)).



5. We are further concerned that even if Safe Sea should someday be demonstrated to be “as effective” for Chironex-type box jellyfish as it claims for other species (i.e., 75% efficacy, in reducing the frequency and severity of stings), this is still unacceptably high for otherwise unprotected exposure to lethal species.



On the Thailand Safe Sea bottle it is specifically stated that the product has not yet been tested against Chironex and claims to "helps to prevent stings” (Not prevent). In the warning it is written that Jellyfish can be dangerous and it is not recommended to go into water infested with jellyfish. This claim is standard and complies with global standards of the USA, Europe and Japanese regulatory recommendations.



Again, in Thailand the choice is not between "protective clothing, suitable netting, appropriate signage and education" OR the use of Safe Sea...









For tourists in Thailand, the choice is between:



Safe Sea protective lotion or no protection at all!



In most cases Safe Sea can provide a relaxing and sting free vacation and in some cases can even be a life saver. Therefore, in Thailand, the use of Safe Sea is highly recommended.



In light of the above, we consider it to be irresponsible and dangerous to promote an unproven product in an area where the consequences of using the product could prove fatal. It is likely that tourists and Thai locals would be lulled into what could well be a false sense of security by using Safe Sea instead of taking preventative measures that have proven to be effective. Severe stings or deaths occurring without added protection of these preventative measures we suggest could have ongoing consequences.



Again, Thailand’s beach resorts do not have safety nets. Not all tourists are educated with regards to jellyfish threats. Most tourists would not be too keen to wear protective clothing. Saying that, if I had to buy sunscreen for vacation in Thailand, Safe Sea would be my best option.



More importantly, using Safe Sea instead of regular sunscreen can save lives. Saying that everyone should stay behind nets and wear protective clothing is unrealistic in Thailand.



Nidaria does not see the use of Safe Sea as a recommendation to jump into water infested with jellyfish. We do not promote Safe Sea as Jellyfish proof.



In some way the use of Safe Sea is like driving with a safety belt… driving with a safety belt is not a recommendation to have an accident but it reduces the risk of injuries. Receiving FDA approval from Thailand does not indicate that the product is effective against Chironex-type box jellyfish stings and can be misleading in this context.



Safe Sea label was listed and reviewed by the USA FDA, UK and Japanese Ministry of Health. The Safe Sea label was reviewed by the EU community, sold under the brands of several multi national pharmaceutical companies, got approval from French AFFSAPS and is being used by the Israeli and other navies worldwide. Safe Sea has a PZ No. from the Pharmaceutical Association in Germany and is approved for sale in Sweden and Norway. Safe Sea is confirmed with UK standards as well as Italy, Austria, Holland and many other territories. The label of Safe Sea was carefully written to explain the performance of this product as well as its limitations and its benefits. Millions of users on a worldwide scale are satisfied from Safe Sea’s performance and experience a sting free vacation.









Nidaria is going to hold an academic seminar (November 29th until December 5th) on jellyfish stinging mechanisms at the Red Sea laboratory of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We would be happy to meet and discuss with the respective teams the benefits of the use of Safe Sea in preventing jellyfish stings.



I feel that organizations like DAN should promote the use of Safe Sea as one of the best preventative measure against jellyfish and Sea lice stings.









Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you need more information.















Best Regards



Dr. Lotan















Dr. Lotan



Nidaria Technology Ltd.



Zemach, Jordan Valley, 15132



Israel



http://www.nidaria.com/





















Subject: Safe Sea - NOT PROVEN against deadly box jellyfish









Hello,









In response to concerns about Safe Sea, a lotion that claims to prevent jellyfish stings, the developers of this product have issued a statement in Thai and English.









This statement in any language DOES NOT address the concerns of jellyfish experts in Thailand and Australia currently working together to reduce box jellyfish stings and improve safety in Thailand.









It is important to note that there are numerous species of box jellyfish that are all different in some way and testing one with this product DOES NOT guarantee that all species will respond the same way.









In Thailand as in Australia, the lethal box jellyfish that is directly responsible for numerous deaths is a chironex-type box jellyfish. Safe Sea has NOT been tested on chironex-type box jellyfish.









Repeat, Safe Sea has NOT been tested on Thailand’s deadly chironex-type box jellyfish.









The marketing of this product in Thailand by a company called Oceanline uses a recent chironex-type box jellyfish tragedy to sell bottles of its lotion:









Oceanline promotional direct marketing - “There are however also some very dangerous jellyfish out there. In Thailand many accidents with jellyfish have been reported which led to beach resorts in Thailand being instructed to carry vinegar as a first-aid treatment (you might remember the sad story of the Swedish girl who was killed by a box jellyfish in November last year).Protect your customers, yourself and your family from painful jellyfish stings!”









Oceanline also uses images of victims of chironex-type box jellyfish.









This is misleading and potentially very dangerous.









The developer of this product, Nidaria, claims that chironex is a close relative of the box jellyfish this company tested (did the testing show 100% proof anyway? No.) though in scientific terms this means absolutely nothing. There is NO scientific evidence to say that Safe Sea protects against Thailand’s deadly chironex-type box jellyfish. None!









As was pointed out recently by jellyfish expert in envenomation prevention Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin; a Physalia (Portuguese Man o War jellyfish) in Thailand and Physalia in Australia respond differently to the application of vinegar (one is neutralized, one is activated), a clown fish covered by the goo from one anemone will be an easy victim for another anemone, and as is stated in Nidaria’s testing results Safe Sea works better for the Chiropsalmus quadrumanus than for the Chrysaora quinquecirrha.









Can you assume that Safe Sea will prevent the sting of a lethal chironex-type box jellyfish and will ‘testing’ be inadvertently conducted by families holidaying in Thailand?









Nidaria’s response to the experts’ concerns claims and cites many things but NEVER DEMONSTRATES any form of protection against the potentially deadly sting of the proven killer in Thai waters, the chironex-type box jellyfish.









Ask yourself why in the wake of the official lethal box jellyfish warnings issued in Thailand that Safe Sea suddenly appeared on the market and why is it that Safe Sea’s developers have not tested their product on lethal box jellyfish.









Safe swimming, diving, snorkelling and best regards,









Andrew Jones, Father of chironex-type box jellyfish sting survivor



John Lippmann OAM, Executive Director DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) ASIA-PACIFIC



Dr Peter Fenner MD (London), DRCOG, FACTM, FRCGP Box Jellyfish expert



Dr Ken Winkel, Director Australian Venom Research Unit









Make up your own mind - Boxie Blogger

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