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If insects are feeding on you, be careful that your “solution” does not put you at greater health risk than the problem. Many sprays, lotions or liquids used to repel insects contain Permethrin and/or N,Ndiethyl-m-toluamide, commonly called DEET.
DEET is a toxic compound, partially absorbed into the bloodstream, and associated with dermal and neurological reactions. Several cases of toxic encephalopathy (brain damage) associated with the use of DEET have been reported in the medical literature.Generalized seizures have also been temporally associated with the use of DEET.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for DEET in late 1998, but with this decision, the EPA will not reregister DEET products marketed specifically at children, claiming them to be misleading. Due to their alcohol base, these low percentage DEET formulas may actually increase absorption into the bloodstream, especially when reapplied frequently to increase effectiveness. The EPA expressed concern about the fact that DEET is widely used, is one of the few registered pesticides applied directly to human skin and is potentially related to seizure incidents. As a result, the RED calls for stronger label warnings and restrictions that are protective of children and others who are sensitive to chemical substances. Permethrin is a synthetic contact insecticide, causing nervous system toxicity that leads to the death of the insect. It is said to have low toxicity in mammals, and is poorly absorbed through the skin. However, it’s wise to stay away from any synthetic pesticide, especially when there are safe alternatives to do the job.

Source: Healthy Child Online
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