Friday, April 2, 2010

Don't DEET

As I am preparing for my trip to India, one of the most important concerns is Malaria from Mosquitoes.
And everyone keeps telling me, "Take alot of insect repellant"!
So, as a conscious traveler, I went to Paragon, the top sporting/outdoor goods store in NYC and bought heavy duty insect repellent that was 100% DEET.

After a few hours I was as the local farmers market buying my organic produce and then purchasing homeopathic natural remedies for common aliements such as diarrhea instead of chemically-laden pepto-bismol with its strange ingredients and bright pink color that was not created from the crushing of cherries...more from red food coloring.

Going along with my day I had an Ah HA! moment! Wait a minute!!! What the heck is DEET??
and if I am going to be spraying it directly onto every inch of my skin for 3 weeks, I sure as hell better know what it is!

Care to find out? Voila:

"DEET is a registered pesticide. DEET is short for N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (also known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide). It is a member of the toluene chemical family. Toluene is an organic solvent used in rubber and plastic cements and paint removers. DEET is absorbed through the skin and passes into the blood. The Medical Sciences Bulletin, published by Pharmaceutical Information Associates Ltd. reports, "Up to 56% of DEET applied topically penetrates intact human skin and 17% is absorbed into the bloodstream." Blood concentrations of about 3 mg per litre have been reported several hours after DEET repellent was applied to skin in the
prescribed fashion. DEET is also absorbed by the gut.
The most serious concerns about DEET are its effects on the central nervous
system. Dr. Mohammed Abou-Donia of Duke University studied lab animals'
performance of neuro-behavioural tasks requiring muscle co-ordination. He found that lab animals exposed to the equivalent of average human doses of DEET performed far worse than untreated animals. Abou-Donia also found that combined exposure to DEET and permethrin, a mosquito spray ingredient, can lead to motor deficits and learning and memory dysfunction." - from


Fatalities Due to Dermal Exposures to DEET
From 1961 to 2002, eight deaths were reported related to DEET exposure. Three of these deaths resulted from deliberate ingestion of DEET (Tenenbein 1987) (see above). Two deaths were reported in adults following dermal exposure to DEET (Bell et al. 2002). The remaining three cases were all female children, with ages of 17 months, 5 years, and 6 years (Zadikoff 1979; Osimitz and Murphy 1997). All three children had been described as having "heavy, "frequent" or "nightly" applications of DEET. The 6-year-old had congenital ornithine carbamoyl transferase (OCT) deficiency, a potential lethal hyperammonemic condition, which may have contributed to her death. DEET did not inhibit human OCT in vitro (Rej et al. 1990): - from

Deet also causes; Reproductive/Developmental Effects, Dangerous Case Reports of Children's Exposures, seizures and skin rashes. There is also some evidence that extensive, long-term exposure to DEET is associated with higher rates of insomnia, mood disorders and impaired cognitive function.and Psychological Effects in Adults.

Its a Poison People ! 

Skin Absorbs 60% of Products Used Topically - Natural or Chemical...
which then goes directly to your blood stream.
Is it worth it to shower yourself in chemicals?
I say no!
There are ALWAYS natural alternatives out there.

Natural Insect Repellents with 0% Deet:

Flixx Natural Insect Repellent Spray

Bite Blocker All Natural Insect Repellent Herbal Wipes  

Quantum BuzzAway 6 oz -Natural Mosquito Repellent

Kiss My Face Swy Flotter, Natural Tick & Insect Repellent, 4 fl oz

Jason Natural Quit Bugging Me Natural Insect Repellant Lotion ...

 Try to avoid scented lotions, perfumes and fabric softeners bc Bugs like to nibble on skin tainted with scents! instead use natural oils :)

Natural Oils to keep BUGS AWAY:

  • Cedarwood oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Cinnamon oil
Always know what you are buying, eating, and promoting!
Read the Labels and live and healthy, happy Gypsy life!

1 comment:

Shelly said...

This was a great blog. I've always preferred natural insect repellent but wasn't worried about deet if there was nothing else around. But this was further proof that deet is awful for human skin. Thanks gypsy! xox