Insect Repellents

18 Apr

Spring is upon us and if you’ve been cooped up all winter – we’ll bet you are eager to spend time outdoors.  As the weather turns warmer however, you may find yourself reaching for some bug repellent before stepping out or spraying down your kids on their way to a soccer game… If this is the case please read on to learn about some of the harmful effects of DEET and a much less toxic alternative.

All over the country, people are purchasing insect repellent products made with DEET. They are spraying them on their skin, soaking their clothes in the chemicals, and even eating foods after they have spread lotions containing DEET on their bodies with their bare hands. There’s little doubt that DEET is effective at repelling insects such as mosquitoes, but growing questions remain about the health consequences of using DEET.

The environmental protection agency and the CDC both state officially that DEET is not harmful when used as directed. However, this advice is based on the idea that DEET is not absorbed through the skin. This is a common myth in the medical and pharmaceutical industries — that cosmetically-applied lotions somehow stay outside the body and don’t interact with the blood stream and internal organs of the body. In fact, as any good medical researcher knows, nearly all chemicals that are placed on the skin, especially in liquid form, are eventually absorbed and enter the bloodstream. DEET is known to cause neurological damage, and once it enters the bloodstream, it makes its way to the nervous system, where it is known to cause seizures and even deaths. It can be especially harmful to children, which is why its use should be strictly limited with children.

(From Natural News – Read the entire article here)
Citronella as a safer alternative:
Citronella candles have been around for years and studies show that people sitting near the candles had 42% fewer bites than people sitting outside without. Oil of Citronella shows little or no toxicity (although you should avoid contact with skin) and gets the Environmental Protection Agency’s stamp of approval. Fight mosquitoes without hurting the environment and put the itch-relief cream back in the medicine cabinet.
(From Green Is Sexy – Read the full description here)
The good news is that citronella is not only available in candle form but can be found in sprays, lotions, soaps, wipes and even sunscreen for babies!  Check out these items from Herbaria.

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