Remind me why DEET is bad... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 3 Old 07-06-2007, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
thefreckledmama's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Suburban Midwest
Posts: 2,034
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm currently in a debate with my MIL as to why DEET is bad, and why I don't want it near my kids. I recall it having to do with something along the lines of causing neurological problems, but I can't remember what the specifics are. She's a nurse, but has been behind a desk for almost 20 years, and her actual medical knowledge is medieval at best. She once applied straight bleach to my husband's severe and open wounded poison ivy. : Anyway, while she (grudgingly) adheres to my direction that they're not to be sprayed/rubbed with anything containing DEET, it's been an ongoing argument, and I'd like to lay down some hard facts and basically end the conversation about it.

jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 3 amazing little girls, an awesome little boy, and a baby girl making her debut at the end of this summer.

thefreckledmama is offline  
#2 of 3 Old 07-06-2007, 05:31 PM
neptunemama's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 365
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Look at this.
neptunemama is offline  
#3 of 3 Old 07-06-2007, 05:52 PM
Ruthla's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 47,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Basically, it's a poison. It's a poison to insects (which is why they won't bite you if it's on your skin) and it's a poison to humans. Specifically, it's a neruotoxin- it damages nerve and brain cells. It "confuses" insects into thinking you're not food by messing with their neurons- they can't smell or taste you. This same drug, absorbed into a child's body, can damage a growing brain.

Chemicals can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin- look at all the new medicines suddenly becoming available in patches. Plus, children are far more likely than adults to ingest things that are intended to be topical. Do you REALLY trust a small child to not scratch her DEET-coated arm, then put her fingers in her mouth?

The safer alternatives are simply strong-smelling oils. They confuse insects' taste and smell sensors by overwhelming them with a different scent and bitter flavor- not by damaging their neurons.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
Ruthla is offline  

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off