Summer is on the way and with it plagues of insects, mosquitoes and midges – plus a warning from scientists that the age-old protection DEET can be toxic to humans.
DEET is not designed for long term use as it is a neurotoxin and a pesticide, and the only one allowed to be used on the skin in the UK. DEET can attack your nervous system and in high concentrations cause seizures, headaches, nausea and even death! It is also harmful to the environment; taking decades to decompose. When applied to skin, it can be absorbed into the bloodstream then into urine; making its way into waterways affecting fish and aquatic creatures. It can even be found in drinking water.
With swimmers using insect repellent and it’s easy to see how this can contaminate the food chain – but thankfully, alternatives are available – from PMD, lemongrass and citronella to hybrid repellents which are a mix of DEET, or other chemicals and natural products. Many new natural repellents can be as effective as DEET – but need to be re-applied more frequently.
Responsible travellers can use incognito repellent lotions and suncream as all ingredients are 100% recyclable and incognito is registered with The Vegan Society. www.incognitospray.com