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Debunking Common Myths about Mosquito Repellents

R&D experts at Godrej Consumer Products demystify the conventional myths around mosquitoes and actives in mosquito repellent formats. 11th March 2019: With the onset of summers followed by the monsoon, mosquito infestation will get rampant. Consumers will look at using different products to protect them from mosquito attack and diseases such as dengue and malaria. A team of research scientists and entomologists at Godrej Consumer Products Limited, the market leader in insecticides with brands such as Goodknight and HIT, have debunked a few common myths. Dr. Sunder Mahadevan, Head - Global R&D at GCPL said “People should plan to ensure adequate protection for their families both inside and outside home, since the threat of mosquitoes is both during the day and night. Using certified, registered products can provide effective protection against mosquitoes.”

Dr. Sunder Mahadevan, Head - Global R&D at GCPL said “People should plan to ensure adequate protection for their families both inside and outside home, since the threat of mosquitoes is both during the day and night. Using certified, registered products can provide effective protection against mosquitoes.” R&D experts at Godrej Consumer Products demystify the conventional myths around mosquitoes and actives in mosquito repellent formats. Few myths and facts are as follows:

MYTH 1: BRANDED PRODUCTS HAVE A LOT OF HARMFUL CHEMICALS
Fact: Both indoor and outdoor products that have the relevant registrations are certified to be safe for use. Branded registered repellents and insecticides that are commonly used at home, contain active ingredients such as transfluthrin, d-trans allethrin to act against mosquitoes. These ingredients are certified for use by the Central Insecticides Board (CIB) after a multi-year and robust registration process. The Board certification is given after multiple tests to check for safety and effectiveness of these products. Thus, registered products that are available are absolutely safe for use. However, one must be wary of unregistered products that may not have been tested and are illegal. Personal repellents contain DEBA (N, N-diethyl-benzamide) or essential oils such as eucalyptus and citronella. Since they are for personal use, these products require approval from the Food and Drug Administration. These are also tested for safety, reactions on personal skin application and effectiveness.

MYTH 2: MOSQUITOES ARE ACTIVE ONLY IN THE EVENING AND NIGHT
Fact: The Aedes mosquitoes which spread diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, are active during the day, indoors and outdoors. The most commonly known mosquitoes in India, the anopheles mosquito that spreads malaria, are mostly active at night. It is thus important to use known formats such as electric liquid vaporizers and mosquito sprays for protection inside your house and personal repellents such as roll-on and patches for protection outside home both during the day and night.

MYTH 3: DENGUE HAPPENS ONLY DURING A FEW MONTHS OF THE YEAR
Fact: Data released from the Health Management Information System of the Ministry of Health, Government of India, shows that dengue cases are reported in all 12 months of the year. About 3.25 lakh cases were reported between Oct 2017 and September 2018, an average of ~27,000 cases every month. While dengue is more prominent during and after monsoons when mosquitoes make a comeback, there is no specific time for it. Therefore, while you may want to protect your family only during the peak monsoon season, you need to keep in mind that dengue causing mosquitoes are present throughout the year. Experts advise that proper precautions and measures need to be taken at all times when going out or even within the house.

MYTH 4: MOSQUITOES ARE ATTRACTED TO PEOPLE WITH “SWEET BLOOD”
Fact: Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide exhaled in our breath, body heat and lactic acid secretions. Research experiments show that those with O Positive blood group are about twice as likely to attract mosquitoes as those with A Positive blood group. Nevertheless, there is no research to prove that anyone is completely protected from mosquito bites. Even a single mosquito bite can infect a person with malaria, dengue, chikungunya or other mosquito borne diseases. Experts recommend using formats such as electric liquid vaporizers, sprays or personal repellents such as roll on or patches approved by the Government authorities for adequate protection.

MYTH 5: MOSQUITOES BREED IN DIRTY WATER AND SEWAGES
Fact: Aedes mosquitoes that spread dengue also breed in fresh water in your home. Areas such as flower pots, cooler / AC trays, fridge trays, uncovered buckets are typical breeding sites. Do not leave stagnant water lying anywhere in your home. Eliminate the unnecessary collection of water in all the sources mentioned above. Cover water storage containers with a fine mesh. Always apply personal mosquito repellents whenever you step out.

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