The days are getting longer, the land is brighter, and the weather is inviting us to stay outside. There is no doubt summer is just around the corner. There is just one downside to the camping, BBQ’s, and ball games that fill our summer nights, and that is the mosquito bite.

Not only are mosquito bites sometimes unbearable, they often carry vicious disease and viruses that can be deadly. Nothing puts a damper in summer like malaria and dengue.

However, what if the more serious danger is not the disease the mosquito brings, but rather the products we use to keep them away?

Most insect repellents on the market are loaded with toxic chemicals, including DEET, which is so poisonous that even the Environmental Protection Agency says you should wash it off your skin when you return indoors, avoid breathing it in and not spray it directly on your face.

Dangers of DEET and Chemical Insect Repellents:

  • The chemical DEET can melt plastic or fishing line.
  •  A pharmacologist at Duke University discovered that prolonged exposure to DEET may impair cell function in parts of your brain. This was demonstrated in the lab by death and behavioral changes in rats with frequent or prolonged DEET use.
  • Scientists Vincent Corbel and Bruno Lapied headed a team of researchers from the University of Angersrchers studying the toxicity of DEET. Corbel says: “We’ve found that DEET is not simply a behavior-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetycholinesterase, in both insects and mammals.”
  • Permethrin is another harmful chemical found in many bug sprays. This chemical is a neurotoxin, meaning it can kill brain cells.
  • Permethrin is also extremely toxic to bees, cats, and all aquatic life. Not only is it hurting the body, it is also damaging the environment.
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has categorized this Permethrin as carcinogenic, capable of causing lung tumors, liver tumors, immune system problems, and chromosomal abnormalities.

If these sprays can kill mosquitoes and melt plastic, it is probably not a good idea to use on your skin. When we use these repellents, the toxic chemicals that are inside them get directly absorbed into our blood through the skin and may be doing more damage to the body than we ever imagined.

Long Term Affects of Chemically Based Bug Sprays

Many people do not make the connection between chemically based bug spray and pesticides. However, bug sprays that prevent pests such as mosquitoes through harsh chemicals are indeed pesticides. In the same way you wouldn’t put weed killer on your arm you might think twice about putting certain pesticides on your skin.

As pesticide use has become a common practice, scientists are now studying the long term side effects these chemicals have on the human body. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 4.5 billion pounds of chemical pesticides are used every year on crops, around the home, around and in ponds, on humans and pets. Studies are now showing that exposure to insect repellents and other pesticides indicates a higher risk of cancers, typically of the blood, brain, lymph system, soft tissues, stomach, prostate and breast. In children, exposure to insect repellents also indicates an increased risk of various forms of cancer, as well as weakening of the immune system.

Intermediate exposure has been linked to Neurotoxicity (nerve system damage) while long term exposure has not only been linked to cancer, but also disruption of the endocrine system. This means that pregnant woman and children should limit or avoid their exposure to pesticides as studies are linking them with birth defects as well as growth and development issues.

A Natural Solution

As more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of pesticides and repellents, natural alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. These not only protect you from mosquitoes, they also prevent bacteria, relieve itching, eliminate irritated skin, and even enhance your skin texture.

The great news is we do not have to choose between dreadful bites and toxic chemicals, with Osana and natural based products you are both protected and nourished so your mind and body can be at ease.