Why use a Natural Bug Spray?
In our house, we believe in the fact that certain people are “mosquito magnets”. I am one of them. I can leave the house for 10 seconds and come back in covered in bites. It is lots of fun. This puts a big crimp in my style and limits our family outings. Therefore, I never leave home without a natural bug spray by my side.
Leave out the DEET and Permetherin
We are firm believers that toxic load contributes to a lot of the health issues that children are experiencing. Unfortunately, a lot of the bug sprays out there are full of toxins. As stated by my super-smart hubby, Wiggy Saunders MD:
Let's take a closer look at the primary ingredients in most bug sprays:
1. DEET- By far the most common ingredient in commerical bug sprays, DEET has been deemed as "safe" for consumers for years, so most people trust that claim and don't think twice about spraying it on all Summer long. However, DEET is a pesticide- a chemical from a family of solvents used in rubber cement and paint remover. At 100% concentration it can melt plastic. DEET is absorbed through the skin and enters the blood stream.
The Medical Sciences Bulletin, published by Pharmaceutical Information Associates Ltd. reports, "Up to 56% of DEET applied topically penetrates intact human skin and 17% is absorbed into the bloodstream." DEET is also absorbed into the gut. The fact that most people already have some kind of compromised gut bacteria makes this a cause for concern.
The most serious concerns about DEET are its effects on the central nervous system. Dr. Mohammed Abou-Donia of Duke University studied lab animals' performance of neuro-behavioural tasks requiring muscle co-ordination. He found that lab animals exposed to the equivalent of average human doses of DEET performed far worse than untreated animals.
Additionally, DEET is not recommended AT ALL for babies or for pregnant women. In Canada products state that children under 12 years of age should not apply a higher concentration than 10% DEET. Most products marketed in the US have AT LEAST 15% DEET in them.
2. PERMETHERIN- Ok. So you picked up a DEET-FREE product to be "safe". Not so fast. Almost all other bug sprays on the market contain permetherin. Permetherin is a synthetic chemical and is used to eliminate lice and scabies as well as a pesticide. There is a laundry list of potential side effects including endocrine disruption, dizziness, behavioral problems, toxic reaction, and behavior problems in kids. Even scarier, the EPA has deemed it is a known carcinogen
Ok. I didn't mean to scare you. That's never my intention, but you deserve to know the facts.