Thousands of families heading abroad this summer have been warned to avoid potentially toxic insect repellents, commonly used by holidaymakers suffering from bites and stings.
The chemical is common in most sprays including bestsellers Autan and Jungle Formula, as well as many own-brand versions. Tropical strength repellents can contain up to 50% of the substance and can also be bought in a pure form to treat clothing, nets and wrist bands.
Scientists from the University of Angers in France, have found that DEET may cause damage to the human nervous system and potentially lead to fits in children.
Some sprays containing DEET are already labeled as not being suitable for children under the age of six but some state that they can be used on babies from six months. However, Dr Vincent Corbel, the researcher of the findings, believes that children and pregnant women should avoid them altogether. “I am not saying normal use of DEET kills people but you need to be very careful as to the concentration, time of application and the target people.”
If you are worried about using insect repellents on your children, why not opt for a natural spray like Mosi-Guard which uses only natural ingredients, and is free of toxic chemicals. Another is Citriodiol, which is a natural, active ingredient effective against a range of biting insects and ticks.
What do you think? Do you have any nifty ideas to keep the mosquitos away?