Chemical Mosquito Repellant DEET Causes Neurological Damage, Gets Absorbed Through The Skin

Friday, August 06, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
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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.

Even the EPA says that DEET should not be frequently used -- in other words, they're saying it's okay to poison yourself just a little bit, but not too much. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one application of DEET per day for children. Once again, this is a position that says it's okay to poison your children just a little bit. The Duke University Medical Center has concluded through laboratory rat studies that long-term use of DEET kills brain neurons.

People who are interested in protecting their health, and who don't want to give themselves cancer or liver damage from products containing toxic chemicals like DEET, typically want to know what kind of products they can use as a replacement for commercial, brand-name insect repellents. One of the best products is simply soybean oil. Soybean oil insect repellants may often contain cloves, cinnamon oil or other extracts containing rather strong oils from the natural plant kingdom. These repellants do work, but certainly not as effectively as DEET.

There's no question that DEET is a highly effective insect repellant, and that's probably because its neurotoxicity extends to insects as well as human beings. If you coat your body with something that kills nerve cells, and kills anything around it, it will also cause insects and other animals to retreat. But it doesn't mean that these items should be put on your skin. If you want to avoid mosquitoes, stick with natural products and avoid products containing toxic chemicals such as DEET.

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About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a passion for sharing empowering information to help improve personal and planetary health He is a prolific writer and has published thousands of articles, interviews, reports and consumer guides, and he has authored and published several downloadable personal preparedness courses including a downloadable course focused on safety and self defense. Adams is an honest, independent journalist and accepts no money or commissions on the third-party products he writes about or the companies he promotes. In 2010, Adams co-founded, a natural health video sharing site that has now grown in popularity. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products ( and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also the founder of a well known HTML email software company whose 'Email Marketing Director' software currently runs the NaturalNews subscription database. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and regularly pursues cycling, nature photography, Capoeira and Pilates. He's also author of numerous health books published by Truth Publishing and is the creator of several consumer-oriented grassroots campaigns, including the Spam. Don't Buy It! campaign, and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. He also created the free reference sites and Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the ending of corporate control over medicines, genes and seeds.

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Mosquitoes now developing resistance to DEET bug spray chemical

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