Reports on the dangers of deet cannot be considered new. In fact, way back to May 1995, a certain TV show had exposed the possible dangers that this chemical can bring to consumers. Basically, the reports showed that insect repellents which contain deet are harmful for humans. However, the big chemical companies have tried to develop regulations to the use of this dangerous chemical.
Deet is proven to be responsible for certain health problems such as seizures, rashes, slurred speech, confusion, muscle twitching, and the worst is death. The National Centers for Poison Control receives reports of up to 5,000 cases of poisoning which is related to deet. Unfortunately, poison reactions acquired from deet are quite hard to detect.
Approximately one-third of the population of the United States makes use of insect repellents that contain deet. Deet is an excellent component when it comes to getting rid of pests such as mosquitoes. Today, deet is one of the main ingredients of over 230 products with up to 100% concentration. You can check your creams, sunscreens, tick and flea shampoos, insect repellents and yard sprays. This chemical compound may be listed in the label of the products with its full name which is diethyltoluamide.
According to experts, deet should be used carefully to avoid its harmful effects to the brain. It can cause damages to the brain and it can even cause death of the brain cells. Studies also show that rats have experienced behavioral changes after being exposed to this chemical compound frequently. The exposure to deet can cause the death of neurons in parts of the brain which is responsible for controlling concentration, memory, learning and muscle movement.
Rats that were used in the study showed poor performance when it comes to physical tasks that require coordination, strength and muscle control. These results were also observed when deet was use during the Persian Gulf War where the military showed the same symptoms. With heavy exposure to deet, you may experience serious side effects such as difficulty in breathing, tremors, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, headache and even memory loss.
The worst thing about the exposure to deet is that the symptoms will not be noticeable after several months or years. Studies show that long term and frequent exposure to deet can cause brain function abnormalities particularly in children. The harmful effects of deet exposure may be worse when this dangerous chemical combines with other chemicals or any medication.
Deet is truly a dangerous chemical most especially to vulnerable individuals like children. That is why products that contain this ingredient are labeled with a warning. Deet is highly toxic especially when inhaled, absorbed by the skin or swallowed. When you use insect repellents, it is highly essential to be cautious. It is highly recommended that you use protective clothes, goggles and mask when using products that contain this harmful chemical.
Children are a high risk of health problems that can be caused by prolonged exposure to deet. The use of insect repellents is strongly discouraged on infants. Furthermore, pregnant women must not use any product that contains deet. This hazardous chemical can be absorbed through the placenta and the babies may be exposed to it.