A new study questions the health safety of the most common synthetic insect repellent on the market: DEET.
The study, by French scientists, shows that DEET not only repels mosquitoes but also can act as a neurotoxin. Further, the way it affects the nervous system of insects -- by inhibiting cholinesterase -- would also affect mammals, meaning us. Finally, the researchers said that the greatest potential risk would come from using DEET in combination with carbamate insecticides.
DEET is used by an estimated 200 million worldwide, the researchers said, and 8 billion doses have been applied since the chemical's inception about 50 years ago. According to a report on the study in Agence-France Presse, despite DEET's widespread use, this is one of only a very few studies on the potential human health effects of the chemical.
The researchers don't urge undo concern, but they say more research is "urgently needed."
If you're concerned about using DEET, try one of these natural insect repellents, and check The Daily Green soon for our field tests of some of the natural repellents on the market.
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