— Most commercial insect repellants contain a chemical known as DEET® and should be used with caution, if at all. —
Many studies found DEET to have harmful health effects. One study resulted in diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats. Researchers suggest humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath after heavy exposure to DEET.
Keep Away From Children
In the event you choose to use DEET products, which I recommend avoiding when possible, do not use these products on infants, and avoid using them on children. Make sure any products for children contain 5 percent or less DEET.
Children are at risk for subtle brain changes because their skin more readily absorbs chemicals from the environment, and harmful chemicals more potently affect their developing nervous systems.
The following precautions were issued by the New York State Department of Health concerning repellents containing DEET:
— Store repellent bottle out of the reach of children and read all instructions on the label before applying.
— Do not let children apply DEET themselves because they may put the product in their mouths or touch their eyes.
— Avoid prolonged and excessive use of DEET. Use sparingly to cover exposed skin only; do not treat unexposed skin.
— Do not apply repellents in enclosed areas. This is especially important when using sprays or aerosols.
— Do not apply directly on face.
— DEET can be applied to clothing, but may damage some synthetic fabrics and plastics.
— Wash treated skin and clothing after returning indoors.
— If you believe you are having an adverse reaction to a repellent containing DEET, wash the treated area immediately and call your physician.
Everything In Moderation
There are many ways to avoid bug repellants containing DEET, and there are safer and more natural products on the market that really do work. I use Cactus Juice – both the real cactus juice and a product called “Cactus Juice.”
The key is to use anything and everything in moderation.
When the bugs are really bad and you have no choice but to slather on the bug repellent, do your best to use only what is needed for the moment, and make sure to bathe after you have come back inside.
Protecting Your Lymph System
Remember that anything you put on your skin will soak into your body, so if you are putting on bug repellent, this WILL be absorbed into your lymph system. Hence, USE WITH CAUTION and in moderation.
Please try the natural bug repellents before you spray on products containing DEET, especially if you live in an area that has an infestation of mosquitoes and chiggers.