This statement is from the EPA's Fact Sheet on the insect repellent DEET.
Consumers can reduce their own risks when using DEET by reading and following products labels. All DEET product labels include the following directions:
Read and follow all directions and precautions on this product label.
Do not apply over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
Do not apply to hands or near eyes and mouth of young children.
Do not allow young children to apply this product.
Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing.
Do not use under clothing.
Avoid over-application of this product.
After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
Wash treated clothing before wearing it again.
Use of this product may cause skin reactions in rare cases.
So, it doesn't seem that bad. If you use it correctly the EPA has found DEET to be safe for everyone, including children 2 months and up. However, when your are spraying it, does it accidentally get near your little ones hands or mouth? Do you run into the house and give everyone a bath to wash the chemical off treated skin? What exactly is "over-application"?
Symptoms of DEET Exposure
- Eye and mucous membrane irritation.
- Ingestion can cause CNS disturbances.
- Desquamation about the nose, dryness of face, a slight tingling sensation. Contact urticaria.
- Toxicity is primarily neurologic (encephalopathy, seizures, movement disorders, coma) and may occur via oral or dermal exposure, most commonly in children.
- Bradycardia is rare but has been reported after dermal exposure to deet. Hypotension has been reported after large ingestions.
- Eye contact may result in a smarting sensation. A burning sensation of the lips, tongue and mouth may be noted.
- Confusion, ataxia, hypertonicity, and clonic jerking progressing to coma and seizures may occur after acute oral or chronic dermal exposure.
- Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
(source:Hazardous Substances Data Bank, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD. March 2003)
Ummmmm, I think I will take my chances with the ticks and mosquitoes. Luckily for us, there are alternatives to the chemical laden repellents on store shelves. Here are a few of our favorite recipes for tick and mosquito repellent. The ingredients are all basically the same, it just depends on what type of essential oil you use.
-2 Tablespoons vegetable or Olive oil
-1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera gel
-add 20 drops of your choice of the following
-rose essential oil or
-eucalyptus essential oil
-lemon balm essential oil or
-thyme essential oil or
-lavender essential oil
Mix the ingredients together, shaking to blend them well, and keep in a glass jar. (we reuse small food jars) Use a few drops on you skin or clothing. (safe for Fido, too)