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  1. #1
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Default Get rid of DEET?

    I saw something about this a couple of days ago on TV, so did a Google search when I got back. It looks like someone has come up with a new chemical to replace DEET that won't melt plastic and is supposed to be safe while also being more effective than DEET.

    http://wired-vig.wired.com/news/medt...,59363,00.html

    Building a Better Bug Beater



    By Stephen Leahy http://c.lygo.com/s.gif


    02:00 AM Jun. 27, 2003 PT

    The key chemical ingredient in effective insect repellents, DEET, was developed for the military in 1946 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But soon it will be replaced by something the military likes better: SS220.

    For the past 50 years diethylmetatoluamide, or DEET, has been the most widely used insect repellent in the world. While its effectiveness is universally recognized, in recent years, concern has been growing over its safety. Reports have been made of seizures and comas in children, and mental confusion, irritability and insomnia in adults, with repeated and prolonged use.

    Those reports have been further substantiated by Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia, who published studies in 2002 showing frequent and prolonged use of DEET caused brain-cell death and behavioral changes in rats.

    Abou-Donia suggested those symptoms would look something like Gulf War Syndrome in humans.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends repellents used on children contain no more than 10 percent DEET and the EPA is no longer allowing label claims of child safety for products containing DEET. Health Canada (Canada's FDA counterpart) has decided to limit the DEET level of products to 30 percent by December 2004.

    Military-issue insect repellents currently contain 33 percent DEET, although they have contained as much as 75 percent as recently as the early 1990s.

    Not surprisingly, the Department of Defense found increasing numbers of military personnel weren't using insect repellents. The Defense Department launched a quest to beat DEET three years ago.

    But finding a replacement was a real challenge because no one knows why DEET works nor exactly what triggers a mosquito to bite.

    The Defense Department, working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, screened hundreds of chemical compounds and products containing citronella, eucalyptus, mint, catnip and other herbs at a special testing facility using the naked arms of human volunteers and disease-free mosquitoes.

    While many products have repellent properties, they are short-lived or their effectiveness is limited to certain species. Nothing works as well as DEET, said Jerome Klun, an entomologist at the Chemicals Affecting Insect Behavior Laboratory.

    One of the insect-repellent compounds screened was something USDA scientists created in 1978, but it offered protection for only a short period of time. Klun was able to isolate the active ingredient from the mixture and found the stereoisomer, or three-dimensional molecule configuration, that provided exceptional stability.

    The new compound, bearing the USDA chemical ID SS220, has piperine, a common black pepper extract, at its core. In human tests at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, it outlasted and outperformed DEET.

    It's perfectly safe, has a slightly fruity odor, feels good on the skin and isn't sticky, Klun said.

    Another big advantage is that SS220 doesn't dissolve common plastics, like eyeglasses or rayon-polyester fabrics, like DEET does. That will make military equipment designers happy.

    "SS220 will unseat DEET," Klun predicted, though testing is still needed under real-world conditions and final toxicological testing by EPA is still to come.

    Commercialization of SS220 is expected by 2006, although finding a financial partner is a bit of a challenge, as DEET has the twin advantages of market dominance and cheaper manufacturing costs.

    The military, which invested $2 million in the project, is very happy, according to Klun. The majority of hospital admissions overseas are related to insect bites, so if the soldiers use the new compound, those numbers should decrease.

    Sand flies in Afghanistan and Iraq regions carry Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease that causes skin sores, enlargement of the spleen and liver and anemia. While local people are immune, chances are good that military personnel will get it without protection, Klun said.

    No vaccines exist for Leishmaniasis nor for many of the other diseases transmitted by biting insects.

    "Disease has always been the military's biggest challenge throughout history," Klun said.
    SGT Rock
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    Administrator attroll's Avatar
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    Now the question is where can we get this stuff at?
    AT Troll (2010)
    Time does not wait for you, it keeps on rolling.

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  3. #3

    Default Additional alternatives

    From cnn.com http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/conditions/04/28/west.nile.ap/index.html

    CDC pushes new mosquito repellents



    Thursday, April 28, 2005 Posted: 10:55 AM EDT (1455 GMT)



    ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- After years of promoting the chemical DEET as the best defense against West Nile-bearing mosquitoes, the government for the first time is recommending the use of two other insect repellents.
    Repellents containing the chemical picaridin or the oil of lemon eucalyptus offer "long-lasting protection against mosquito bites," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, adding that repellents with DEET remain on the agency's recommendation list.

    "Since West Nile virus is present across the entire country at this point and it's here to stay, we constantly need to be vigilant," said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC's division of vector-borne infectious diseases. "It gives consumers a better option to protect themselves."

    Both products have been available elsewhere in the world, including Europe and Australia, since the 1980s. Repellent makers have been eager to introduce them to U.S. markets but it was hard to compete with DEET, the only chemical touted as effective by local, state and federal health officials.

    Federal officials maintained for years that non-DEET repellents were not likely to offer the same degree of protection from mosquito bites. DEET has been the go-to chemical for health officials trying to control the spread of the West Nile virus in the United States.

    However, recent studies prompted CDC officials to broaden the recommendations. The CDC says picaridin is "often comparable with DEET products of similar concentration" and oil of lemon eucalyptus provides protection time "similar to low-concentration DEET products in two recent studies."

    Consumers tend to like picaridin repellents because they are more pleasant to the skin and don't have the odor that DEET repellents have. And oil of lemon eucalyptus is a natural ingredient, which appeals to those who don't like the thought of putting chemicals on their skin, said Angela Proctor, a product manager for the Cutter line of insect repellents by Spectrum Brands.

    Nationwide, only about 40 percent of people use insect repellents. In Pacific coast states such as California -- the state with the highest number of cases (771 cases, 23 deaths) last year -- only 23 percent use insect repellent, said Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez of the CDC.

    "That's a lot of people who are going out there unprotected," she said.

    Users complained of DEET's odor or said it feels unpleasant on the skin. DEET repellents also have reportedly damaged plastics and fake fingernails. Other people have speculated it could cause brain damage, although the Environmental Protection Agency said the chemical won't cause harm if used properly.

    "There's a certain segment of the population that no matter how safe you tell them DEET is, ... there's a hesitancy to use DEET," said Richard Falco, a Fordham University medical entomologist. "You can do so much to tell people what to use but if they're not using it you have to go to something else. I think this will have a positive impact on public health."

    DEET was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1946 and has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as an approved active ingredient since 1957.

    Various levels of DEET appear in the popular Off! lines by S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., including Deep Woods and Skintastic. Other brands such as Repel and BugOff! have lately launched products without DEET.

    Spectrum Brands introduced a picaridin-based repellent in January -- Cutter Advanced -- and it has been marketing a repellent with oil of lemon eucalyptus since 2002. The products provide four and six hours of protection, respectively, Proctor said.

    The CDC said it still will promote other personal protection measures, such as wearing long-sleeved clothing while outside and disposing of containers of water that could be breeding grounds for the flying insects.

    West Nile virus first arrived in 1999 in New York. Last year there were 2,470 cases and 88 deaths. The highest number of U.S. cases came in 2003, when 9,682 people were infected and 264 died.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by attroll
    Now the question is where can we get this stuff at?
    From the article (which is almost two years old): "Commercialization of SS220 is expected by 2006".

    Doug

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    While Deet may indeed cause brain damage, blackflies will.

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    Registered User TakeABreak's Avatar
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    I hope the test results come back positive, I quit using deet several years ago and have been using naturalpel (spelling??) it is not cheap and not as effective as deet, either.

    Oh by the way,nice articles, thanks for sharing.

  7. #7

    Default

    A USDA-connected research concern in Maryland has studied this compund, which reportedly does not evaporate as fast as DEET. The group is listed as searching for a commercial partner.
    http://www.ba.ars.usda.gov/business/partners.html
    (scroll down to item 5)

    They have some patents on testing the compund, but not to the SS220 compund itself since it was already public.

    The group is already looking into several more compunds belonging to a BASF chemical library, so maybe even better repellants are in our future.

  8. #8
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Plenty of mosquitos here in Alaska,,,big ole buggers too...so I use a lot of DEET..maybe that is what is wrong with my brain?
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I think your smoke has more to do with it than your DEET.
    SGT Rock
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    So I am wondering, as our men and women come back from Iraq with leishmaniasis, will it spread like west nile? My friend got west nile last summer and I can see how it kills people. How rare/common is this problem? BTW, I'm all for something that taste better than deet.

  11. #11
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I heard a couple of my soldiers from the war were diagnosed with this recently and discharged from the Army. Seemed sort of odd that it didn't show up for almost a year. Maybe it was something else.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
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    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock
    I think your smoke has more to do with it than your DEET.

    ya know smoke keeps the skeeters away from U too
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Mosquito she flys HIGH

    Mosquito she flys low,

    Mosquito lands on me,

    She ain't gonna fly no MO!
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    with a case of blind faith
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    My son and I went on a lazy canoe trip somewhere near Dunlop Tennessee a few years back. Outfitter asked if we brought bug spray (w/DEET) and we said yes. He said to keep it in the car since the deer flies loved it. He let us borrow a small vial of something, I think it may have been peppermint oil?? He said to use just a little. It worked great! Does anyone know if that's what it was and have you tried it as well? I may do a search and see what i turn up.

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    with a case of blind faith
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    Some search results: Peppermint oil used for insect spray/lotion, sometimes with some of the following (oils or otherwise): citronella,cederwood,eucalyptus,lemongrass,alcohol ,castor oil,thyme,germanium,clove,phenethyl propionite,potassium sorbate,paprika,wintergreen,tea tree oil...........

    Any one have any first hand good or bad to say about using the stuff?

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    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tractor
    Some search results: Peppermint oil used for insect spray/lotion, sometimes with some of the following (oils or otherwise): citronella,cederwood,eucalyptus,lemongrass,alcohol ,castor oil,thyme,germanium,clove,phenethyl propionite,potassium sorbate,paprika,wintergreen,tea tree oil...........

    Any one have any first hand good or bad to say about using the stuff?
    I grew up a bit south of Houston, beside hundreds of acres of rice fields. Mosquitoes might be locally thicker in some northern areas, but there's few places that are annually afflicted as heavily for so long.

    All that herbal / spice stuff just provides added flavor for the 'skeeters.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  17. #17
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    Well I gotta agree the Texas mosquitoes are on steroids or something. DEET stuff was all we used that worked there. Too bad it didn't seem to work with fire ants or copperheads. And what were those caterpillars that would bite and leave the big black & blue marks? Are there any "luv bugs" left around there? They were supposed to eat mosquitoe larve right?

    [anybody else here ever work at the little 'puter oufit called Compaq?]

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    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tractor
    Well I gotta agree the Texas mosquitoes are on steroids or something. DEET stuff was all we used that worked there. Too bad it didn't seem to work with fire ants or copperheads. And what were those caterpillars that would bite and leave the big black & blue marks? Are there any "luv bugs" left around there? They were supposed to eat mosquitoe larve right?

    [anybody else here ever work at the little 'puter oufit called Compaq?]
    The caterpillars were locally called 'asps', I never learned their real name but from childhood I was taught not to touch them. Nasty mothers.

    Love bugs are alive and well exept on windshields and radiator grills. Too bad they don't eat African bee swarms.

    I've been in both Maine and Colorado during their pestilence seasons and those 'skeeters are damned frenzied. Uppity little buggers that won't take no for an answer. The Texas skeeters seem more laid back but their sheer numbers will overwhelm you. But it's like the difference between standing in a pouring rain or jumping into a pool - either way you get soaked.

    But I understand that up north their mosquitoes have seasons. In Texas we just had a mosquito-free season: Nov, Dec, Jan, and early Feb.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

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    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    I didnt see any skeeter up north here today..and I been outside a lot cutting and hauling firewood,,,I did howeve see my Ruffed Grouse and I run up on a Moose coming down the "driveway" ...but no skeeters today!
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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    Registered User Tim Rich's Avatar
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    Cutter Advanced with Picaridin is availabable at REI - 6 oz. $5.95

    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...ory_rn=4500562

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