Deet Mosquito Repellent
A study conducted in the late 1980s on Everglades National Park employees to determine the effects that they blamed on exposure to the chemical. Effects included rashes, skin irritation, numb or burning lips, nausea, headaches, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. The upside of DEET is that it is very effective. A 2002 study published in the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE found that DEET based repellents provided the most complete and longest lasting protection against mosquitoes. Researchers found that a formulation containing 23.8 percent DEET completely protected study participants for upwards of 300 minutes, while a soya bean-oil-based product only worked for 95 minutes.
PRODUCTS CONTAINING DEET
DEET has been used in number of insect repellent products including liquid sprays, lotions, and sticks. It has been estimated that about 30% of population uses one or more products that contain DEET every year. Always follow label instructions and take steps to avoid exposure. If any exposures occur, be sure to follow the first aid instructions on the product label carefully.
Scientist don’t know exactly how DEET works on all insects. Some insects sense people by detecting the chemicals from our bodies and on the air that we breathe out. It has been shown that insects exposed to DEET are not able to locate a person or animal because they cannot detect them.
BENEFIT OF DEET PRODUCTS
DEET’s most significant benefit is its ability to repel potentially disease carrying insects and ticks. The CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC) registers more the 30,000 reports of Lyme disease and 80-100 reports of La crosse encephalitis virus ( transmitted by mosquitoes ) annually. A total of 48 states and districts of Columbia have reported WEST NILE virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes to CDC. Each of these diseases can cause serious health problems or even death in the case of encephalitis. Where these diseases are prevalent, the CDC recommends use of insect repellants when out of doors. Studies in EPA’s database indicate that DEET repels ticks for about two to ten hours and mosquitoes from two to twelve hours depending on the percentage of DEET in the product.
EFFECTS ON CHILDREN
Limited information is available on childhood responses to DEET from experiments or poison do reports. Children have had adverse responses to DEET exposure, but most of these cases have resulted from improper use or accidents have usually had less serious effects than teens and adults. Special instructions have been placed on products containing DEET for use on children.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS FROM EXPOSURE TO DEET
• When products containing DEET get into the eyes, they may cause irritation, pain and watery eyes.
• People that have left DEET products on their skin for extended periods of time have experienced irritation, redness, a rash and swelling.
• People that have swallowed products containing DEET have experienced upset stomach, vomiting and nausea.
• Very rarely, exposure to DEET has been associated with seizures in people
USING DEET PRODUCTS SAFELY
According to the CDC, DEET products can cause skin irritation. All DEET product labels include the following directions:
1. Read and follow all directions and precautions on this product.
2. Do not apply over cuts , wounds or irritated skin etc
3. Do not apply to hands or near eyes and mouth of young children.
4. Do not allow young children to use this product.
5. Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and / or clothing.
6. Do not use under clothing
7. Avoid over application
8. After returning indoors wash treated skin with soap and water.
9. Wash treated clothing before wearing it again.
10. Use of this product may cause skin reactions in rare cases.