Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

DEET-Free Mosquito-Repellent Patch

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

DEET-Free Mosquito-Repellent Patch

Article excerpt

Since the first human hand swatted in vain at a swarming mosquito, people have been trying to repel insects every time they head outdoors--and for good reason. Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and black flies all have bites that can cause painful irritation at best and debilitating or fatal disease at worst. In 2000, the West Nile Virus, an illness transmitted by mosquitoes, killed one person and made 17 others severely ill. The virus is projected to spread beyond the 12 Eastern states where cases have been documented.

Many of the liquids and sprays commonly used to repel mosquitoes contain N,N -diethyl-meta-toluamide, commonly called DEET. DEET affects the central nervous system, and its toxicity poses a risk for both children and adults. Up to 56 percent of topically applied DEET penetrates human skin, and 17 percent is absorbed into the bloodstream. Reactions have included headache, disorientation, agitation, seizure, anaphylaxis, and coma.

Children are at increased risk because they have a higher surface-area-to-body-mass ratio. …

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