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Will DEET harm my family?

Almost nothing can ruin a family outing for Louisiana residents worse than getting eaten alive by mosquitos. You might hesitate to buy mosquito repellant because you are worried that the chemicals can cause serious illness or birth defects. This concern is a good reason to stay informed on the potential risks of various products, as well as the recommended ways to use them.

Insect repellants containing the chemical ingredient DEET are widely known as the most effective way to keep mosquitos, ticks and fleas off your skin. Consumers have been concerned for some time about the possible health effects of coming into contact with DEET, with worries ranging from seizures and birth defects to death. However, as Consumer Reports explains, numerous government agencies and health care officials say DEET is safe when it is used properly. You might want to take note of the following suggestions for using a DEET product:

  • Choose a product containing 30 percent DEET; a higher concentration isn’t necessary and won’t be any more effective.
  • Don’t use an insect repellant on an infant younger than two months old.
  • Follow the application instructions on the container, and don’t let children apply it themselves.

There have been numerous studies on the potential risks of DEET over the years, and experts usually agree that any reported adverse effects may have been due to overexposure or product misuse. Every year, more than 100 million people use DEET insect repellants with no reported adverse effects. You may weigh the effectiveness of insect repellants against the risks of contracting a mosquito-borne or tick-borne illness. Of course, you are entitled to take action if you use any product according to the recommendations and you suffer an injury or illness.

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Lundy Lundy Soileau & South, LLP

Main Office: 501 Broad Street Lake Charles, LA 70601 | Phone: 337-439-0707

Mailing Address: PO Box 3010 Lake Charles, LA 70602 | Fax: 337.439.1029