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Major effects of DEET (health and environment)

Nov. 29, 2019
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DEET, referred to as DEET, is a widely used insecticide. Spray it on your skin or clothing to prevent insects and mosquitoes from biting. It also contains human sweat and breath, and works by blocking 1-octene-3-ol, which blocks insect olfactory receptors.


Although DEET can help humans avoid mosquito bites, it can also partially affect the health and living environment of humans.

The following is an introduction to the effects of DEET on human health and the biological environment.


Health effects


Precautions: Manufacturers advise users that products containing DEET should not be used in direct contact with damaged skin or in clothing; when not needed, the preparation can be washed away with water. DEET acts as an irritant, so irritation to the skin is inevitable.


At the same time that DEET was eligible for re-registration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced 14 to 46 cases of epilepsy that could potentially be linked to DEET, with four deaths. The EPA statement mentioned: "It is true that some cases may be related to the toxicity of DEET," but the survey showed that 30% of Americans are using DEET, so the incidence of epilepsy is only one in 100 million.


Cornell University's Pesticide Intelligence Program Joint Development Office report states: "Every employee who uses DEET in the Everglades National Park has insomnia, anxiety, and cognitive decline than those who are exposed to DEET. Serious. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that there is no difference in the safety of products used directly by 10% and 30% of children, however, it is not recommended for infants under two months of age.


A recent study published in the British "BMC Biology" magazine showed that the mosquito repellent "DEET" has an inhibitory effect on the activity of a key enzyme in the central nervous system. The safety of this mosquito repellent. An international team led by French researchers has found that DEET can inhibit the activity of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that is critical in the central nervous system of both insects and mammals.


Researchers say that DEET is often used in combination with other insecticides, but it is more toxic when used in combination with carbamate pesticides. Researchers believe that, for the sake of public health and safety, in-depth research on the safety of DEET is needed.


the effect on the environment


Although there are few research reports on the environmental pollution of DEET, DEET is indeed a non-strong chemical insecticide, which may not be suitable for use in and around water sources. Although DEET is not considered a bioaccumulation, it has been found to be slightly toxic to cold-water fish, such as rainbow trout and tilapia. In addition, experiments have shown that it is also toxic to some freshwater plankton species. Due to the production and use of DEET products, high concentrations of DEET can also be detected in some water bodies. For example, in 1991, the Mississippi River and its tributaries were detected to contain 5 to 201 nanograms of DEET.


Therefore, although DEET helps humans to get rid of mosquitoes, it also partially affects human health and living environment. For human health and the natural environment, precautions should be taken for the use of chemicals.

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