(WXYZ) – As much as we love summer, no one loves the pesky biting bugs that come with it. Insect repellents with Deet are widely used to keep them at bay but many people are still concerned about its main active ingredient.
I understand people’s reluctance to use Deet as there have been reports of seizures and deaths that were potentially linked to it. But the Environmental Protection Agency has conducted two safety reviews and they did not identify any risks of concern to human health.
Deet has also not been classified as a carcinogen, which means it has not been shown to cause cancer.
But there have been reports of Deet toxicity
Most of them were mild and treated at home. But in a lot of those cases, the products were being misused or applied wrong.
So when it comes to using Deet, here’s what I want you to know. First, you want to use the right concentration. You don’t need 100% Deet. If you’re only looking for several hours of protection, buy 30 percent Deet. The number represents how long it will keep you protected for, not how effective it is at keeping the bugs away.
Next, be sure to read and follow the product’s instructions. Do not spray it near your eyes or mouth or over cuts, wounds or irritated skin. You can spray it on clothes and on exposed skin only. And also be sure to wash it off before bedtime.
If you’re still not comfortable with using Deet, there are effective alternatives
Picaridin has been shown to work just as well as Deet. And Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus has also done well in testing but it should not be used on kids younger than three. Both of these ingredients have been researched and checked out but not as thoroughly as Deet.
Deet still is the most widely used bug repellent, its been used billions of times over the years and has been deemed not only highly effective but considered safe when used as directed.
If you’d like to know if Deet is safe during pregnancy, click here.
- You don’t need 100% Deet as this number represents how long it will keep you protected for, not how effective it is at keeping the bugs away. Keep your exposure minimal, if you only need several hours of protection, buy 30 percent Deet.
- Be sure to read and follow the product’s instructions. Do not spray it near your eyes or mouth or over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
- You can spray it on clothes and on exposed skin only. And also be sure to wash it off before bedtime.
- If you really don’t like Deet, there are other options like Picaridin and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. But don’t use Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus on kids younger than three.
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Data pulled from WXYZ