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How toxic is DEET? Zika virus less harmful than the insect repellent 'fighting' it


(NaturalNews) First discovered in 1953, DEET is a common ingredient found in most commercially sold insect repellents. It's marketed as an effective way to ward off disease-carrying mosquitoes, and though it does keep insects at bay, it also poses serious health risks to humans, especially when used in conjunction with other insecticides, which is almost always the case.

Research shows DEET may cause damage to your central nervous system and these effects are heightened when used alongside "other neurotoxin insecticides," Natural News has reported.

Scientists studying "the mode of action and toxicity of DEET" learned that the chemical disrupts important enzymes in both insects and mammals.

"We've found that DEET is not simply a behavior-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetycholinesterase, in both insects and mammals," French researchers said in 2009.

Significant number of Americans using harmful DEET-based insect repellents

It's been reported that approximately 33 percent of Americans use insect repellents containing DEET, despite the research warning against it. Of course this number varies depending on the purported threat of an infectious disease outbreak, with the latest "threat" of course being Zika.

Mosquito geneticist Dr. Matthew DeGennaro recently told CBS News that "DEET should be Miami's new perfume." His statement is irresponsible, considering Zika is essentially harmless to the majority of people exposed to it.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states on its website that most people who contract Zika do not have any symptoms, and when they do, they are typically mild and include things like joint and muscle pain, headaches and fever.

"People usually don't get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika," the CDC says. "Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infections."

While some experts link the virus to severe birth defects in babies, there's little scientific evidence to support that claim other than correlation data.

Zika's link to birth defects based on insufficient data

The claim that Zika causes microcephaly, resulting in decreased head circumference in newborns, is based on "epidemiological statistics, not rigorous scientific studies of cause and effect," the Health Ranger wrote earlier this month.

"In other words, the CDC observed that women in regions of South America that hosted Zika-carrying mosquitoes were suffering from microcephaly in their newborn children. From this, they concluded a cause-and-effect relationship between Zika virus and the developmental deformities.

"What they failed to recognize, however, is the presence of the dominant cause: All these same areas were also being sprayed with highly toxic larvicide chemicals that work by interfering with the nervous systems of insects."

DEET most dangerous when combined with other insecticides

Earlier studies on the adverse health effects of DEET show that prolonged exposure to the chemical can damage certain parts of the brain, resulting in muscle weakness, the inability to walk, memory loss and other cognitive problems.

The research showed that organophosphate and carbamate insecticides act in synergy when combined with DEET and profoundly inhibit the acetylcholinesterase enzyme, due to the magnified toxicity. It is important to note that all three of these chemicals have the capacity to produce these effects on their own to begin with.

"These findings question the safety of DEET, particularly in combination with other chemicals, and they highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the development of safer insect repellents for use in public health," said the researchers.

The healthiest and safest way to combat disease-carrying mosquitoes is by using all-natural bug spray made from plant-based ingredients and essential oils, such as the Health Ranger's Bugs Away Spray.

Also, natural spices such as cinnamon oil are an effective and environmentally friendly way to combat misquotes. This spice has long been used by natural health advocates to prevent bug bites.





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