Is DEET safe to use?....

After the long winter we had (WA state) our family is more than ready to spend every sunny moment we can outside. Every one in our neighborhood has noticed that the mosquitos have come in force this year. So, the first thing I did was grab the insect repellent!.....then I started to wonder if DEET is all that safe? I went to a few different web sites, and here is the info I found:

What is DEET?

DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is the active ingredient in most insect repellents available in the United States that are applied to the skin. DEET was developed more than 50 years ago by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for use by our military. It was registered for use by the general public in 1957.

What is West Nile Virus? 

West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes, and can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease. Spring is here, as weather warms up remember to check around your yard and dump out standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Stock up on repellent for the warm days ahead, too.

Which DEET concentration should I use? What product should I select?

DEET-based insect repellents are available in a range of concentrations from5 percent to 100 percent. A 5 percent product will provide approximately 90 minutes of protection and a 100 percent product approximately 10 hours. The "effective" time increases as you increase the concentration of DEET.

Does DEET cause cancer, birth defects, or genetic changes?

DEET-based products have been subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny over many years.  These tests have continued to confirm that consumers can use these products with confidence, according to product labeling directions for ALL family members. Additionally, tests confirm that DEET does not cause cancer, birth defects, or genetic changes.


Is DEET an insecticide?

DEET is not an insecticide and neither kills nor harms the pests it repels. DEET interferes with the mosquito's ability to detect the carbon dioxide our bodies release.

Can I use a DEET-based insect repellent and sunscreen together?

The effectiveness of both insect repellents and sunscreens are dramatically reduced when users apply them at the same time. Decide which is your top priority at the moment-protection from insects or from the sun-then apply either a repellent or sunscreen, plus use other measures to reduce insect and sun exposure. Some manufacturers produce a specially formulated product that combines both DEET-based insect repellent and sunscreen. These should be used with the frequency of repellents, where you re-apply only as needed to exposed skin areas.

There is more information out there. Here is a link