The previous Great NEWS post asked Are Flu Shots a Health Hazard and today we ask Are Insect Repellents a Health Hazard? It is late summer and the local mosquitoes are acting like mini vampires with a vicious and voracious appetite for sucking blood. The news shares stories about the spread of Chikungunya Virus, Dengue fever and West Nile Virus and telling people to use insect repellent with DEET. Many people will simply follow these directions and use insect repellents with this very toxic chemical. Since using insect repellents has become routine most people are not reading or researching the dangers of DEET. Today we will reveal important for you to decide Are Insect Repellents a Health Hazard?
The Great NEWS Coach Health Hazard series of posts is committed to helping global health seekers be aware of common health hazards that wreck havoc on our happiness and health. Insect repellents with DEET are widely recommended to protect people from chiggers, mosquitoes and ticks. Very few people stop to investigate the chemicals in insect repellents and the health risks associated with using them. If they are strong enough chemicals to repel biting bugs they are strong enough to have harmful effects on humans.
While infections like Chikungunya virus, Dengue fever, Lyme disease and West Nile virus are serious health concerns people deserve a full range of options with the cons and pros in order to make informed decisions to protect themselves. Mosquito and tick bites are two of the worst transmitters of global disease. They contribute to significant disease, death, sickness and suffering for people around the world.
The more people are in proximity to biting bugs the greater the risk for contracting a disease or infection. A bug bite can be a mild annoyance, irritating illness or serious life threatening condition based on many factors and variables. Therefore it is important to have a good understanding of your choices between chemical insect repellents, natural insect repellents and prevention strategies to minimize and prevent the risk of being bitten.
Important factors to consider regarding insect repellents are the ingredients and health risks. Using insect repellents to prevent possible bug bites that may harm our health by exposing us to toxic chemicals and compounds does not make good sense. Most people are simply unaware of the health hazards of using chemical insect repellents with DEET so this post will offer ideas and information to help people make better choices. We must learn to read labels and research products to make informed choices to protect ourselves from toxic chemical health hazards.
People enjoy being outdoors for fun, gardening, recreation, walking and work. The key is to learn smart strategies to protect us from biting bugs that are an irritation and could lead to more severe health problems. It is easy to do when you focus on being prepared and planning ahead.
Around the world mosquitoes are major problems since they transmit Chikungunya virus, Dengue fever, encephalitis, malaria, yellow fever and West Nile virus. Having the itch and swelling from mosquito bites is bad enough. The risk of contracting a serious disease is a major concern and probably the number one reason people choose to use insect repellents. It is easy to see why people who make a decision to use a insect repellent, want it to be as potent as possible. Chemical companies, health workers, reporters and scientists tell us that insect repellents with DEET are the best deterrent on the market without telling us about the risk from using these toxic pesticides.
My mission is to share my life lessons learned to help you avoid bug bites and bug repellents with DEET to prevent bug bite problems and chemicals from harming your health. It is a bit hard to admit that in the distant past I had resorted to using flea collars around my ankles and bug repellent with DEET to keep to keep chiggers, mosquitoes and ticks from biting. At the time I did not know better and there was no internet with health hazard warnings to alert me to the risks.
Now it is common knowledge that bug repellent with DEET can do endocrine, neurological and reproductive damage. People are now advised to avoid putting it directly on skin yet many people spray it directly on bare skin. Even putting it on your clothes is a hazard. It is so chemically reactive and strong that it melted part of my Army OD green polyester long sleeve sleep shirt.
What is DEET?
N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide is the official name and it is abbreviated DEET. It is the most common ingredient in insect repellents for protection against chiggers, fleas, mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects. Even though it is advertises as safe to put on our clothes or skin please avoid it and consider safer alternatives instead.
When we stop to look at the adverse affects, cost, health risks, infection risk and toxic ingredients in synthetic insect repellents our common sense tells us there must be a better way.
When we apply bug repellent with DEET do we even realize the toxins we are putting on our body that can harm our health? Most people do not. They are simply thinking of advertised ways to keep biting bugs away. My common sense now tells me putting toxic chemicals on my body and in the environment increases the odds for contamination and almost guarantees health issues later on. We are regularly reading about newborns with a hundred or more toxic chemicals in them at birth from toxins in our environment.
It was originally designed as a pesticide for farms and the military began using it in 1946 as an insect repellent. In 1957 a commercial version was available for civilians. Today it is widely used around the world as the most common insect repellent with higher concentrations of DEET being the norm since people want more bug repellent power for their buck.
What Are DEET Warnings?
Manufacturers advise that DEET products should not be used on damaged skin, infants or under clothing. That sounds like an indirect warning not to put it directly on your skin as most people tend to do. They also advise that it be washed off after it is no longer needed. Unfortunately they do not mention that chemicals applied to our skin are absorbed into our body. Adverse reactions for DEET list possible seizures and insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive function are more likely associated for those with greater exposure. We also know that chemicals like insecticides and pesticides contribute to cancer.
Common sense tells us there must be better ways to protect ourselves from biting bugs than being contaminated with chemicals and compounds from insect repellents containing toxic pesticides.
Natural Protection from Bug Bites
There are many different versions of natural bug repellent that have been found to be effective against biting insects. When you Google natural insect repellents you will find numerous choices, ingredients, recipes and types used effectively around the world. Most outdoorsman know the best way to protect your body from bug bites is to follow basic guidelines and procedures. Simply covering exposed skin with long pants and long sleeve shirts will prevent most mosquito bites. When 95% of your body is covered mosquitoes have very little skin to access. Gloves, hat and mosquito net can even cover the remaining 5% effectively.
One of the best ways to avoid ticks is to avoid tick infested areas. Stay away from dense brush and tall grass and stay on hiking trails. Wear high boots, long pants and long sleeve shirts with a liberal dose of natural essential oils or sulfur powder. Blouse the pant cuffs outside your boots. Check yourself often for bugs.
Stop Using Poisons Start Using Plants
Now that you are better educated about the ingredients that make insect repellents a health hazard it is important to stop using poisons and start using plants and clothing to protect you naturally. Simple things you can do include:
- Applying essential oils like cedarwood, citronella, clove, geranium, lemongrass, neem, oregano, rosewood and tea tree have been found to be effective repellents.
- Many people have found that certain foods like cruciferous veggies, garlic and onions help them avoid biting bugs.
- For years I have used alfalfa tablets and sulfur powder to repel biting bugs.
- MSM powder which is a natural sulfur compound found in food seems to work well also.
- Avoiding certain unhealthy beverages that contain carbon dioxide such as sodas is helpful because mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. Some people believe excess sugar contributes to attracting biting bugs.
- There are many old fashion homemade recipes that have been found to be effective against bug bites: A natural bug repellent can be made using: a combination of: Citronella, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Rose Geranium and Wintergreen in an oil base such as coconut oil or neem oil.
- A combination of neem and tea tree oil has worked well for me.
- A recent picnic lunch at Memorial park in Houston helped me learn a new life lesson. A bush with beautiful bright purple clusters caught my attention again and this time some research revealed the beautyberry bush is a natural mosquito repellent. While near the bush no mosquitoes bothered me even though this area is a breeding haven for mosquitoes.
- Plants such as basil, catnip, lemon thyme, marigolds and neem trees are excellent herbs and plants known to deter mosquitoes.
- Mosquito head nets and bed nets when outdoors are another good idea. Camping shelters, screened canopies and tents with mosquito netting are a must in mosquito infested areas.
- People spend big bucks on insect repellents that end up contaminating them and the environment with toxic chemicals. Why not buy some essential oils and see which ones work best for you?
- Avoiding insecticides and pesticides in insect repellents protects you from exposure to harmful toxins. All toxins absorbed by the body end up in the liver to be neutralized and excess amounts end up in fat cells which it the body’s last resort to protect it self. Most chemicals are fat soluble and are stored in fat cells.
- Common sense suggests we avoid the synthetic chemicals and compounds in bug repellents and use natural methods instead.
Are Insect Repellents Health Hazards?
Most commercial brands especially those with DEET are toxic. Unfortunately the majority of people are brainwashed and clueless about the consequences of exposure to harmful chemicals like DEET. These active chemical ingredients are harmful to our long term health and well being. They have been linked to adverse events such as: insomnia, impaired cognitive function, mood disturbances and seizures in addition to endocrine, neurological and reproductive damage and disruption. Anyone with a compromised liver as well as children, infants and pregnant women are at the greatest risk from exposure to insect repellents with DEET.
To restate the glaring obvious recommendation there are several reasons why you should avoid any bug repellent with DEET.
Today we revealed some serious insect repellent health hazards. Avoiding insect repellents especially those with DEET will reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and compounds. Following the simple strategies in this post will help us enjoy our time in nature and outdoors without the risk of haring our endocrine, immune, mental and reproductive systems. This important information will help more people discover the dangers of insect repellents and DEET.
This Great NEWS post regarding “Are Insect Repellents a Health Hazard?“ offers simple suggestions to help protect our health and well being. Helping more people discover why insect repellents are health hazards will help more people stop using toxic chemicals on their skin. This mindset will then lead to a reduced dependency on chemicals in general and thinking about ways to eliminate them. This will help protect the environment from the effects of harmful chemicals and compounds. “Are Insect Repellents a Health Hazard” is an important public service message to help people stay happy and healthy.
What is your current Gap?
How many times have you used bug repellents? What can you do to naturally protect yourself from biting bugs?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
What mastery action plans will help you avoid biting bugs? What other benefits might essential oils offer?
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding insect repellents and DEET? What else can we do to stop using harmful chemicals and start using natural alternatives instead?
Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Are Smoothies a Health Hazard?
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