I choose to be DEET- Free because I love my children and I love this planet. So much of my choice goes beyond using the insect repellent once or twice during the mosquito season, or on a camping trip sparingly. I use bug spray on my family all day long, almost all year long living in Charleston, SC. I am also well aware that our skin & scalp soak up 60% of our personal care products in a mere 26 seconds of application toxins enter our blood stream and move onto our organs to be flushed out. Its undetermined how long this process actually takes, and how long the toxins LIVE in our system before our bodies rid them as each one of us differs in age, size, and how our bodies break down toxins.
I can't lie, I HAVE I sprayed DEET on my kids in some desperate situations where I didn't have any other option. But I was disgusted when after bath time ( a good 30 min for my kids with all natural soap) I literally could easily still smell the DEET and the kids had slight rash topically on their skin. I was worried that this stuff is so powerful and strong and didn't seem to wash off easily on my own kids, what it was doing to our environment? Where does it go? And how does the runoff effect our ecosystem.
I found that although DEET is not expected to bioaccumulate, it has been found to have a slight toxicity for fresh-water fish such as rainbow trout and tilapia, and it also has been shown to be toxic for some species of freshwater zooplankton. DEET is also a persistent environmental contaminant that breaks down slowly in soil. A recent U.S. Geological Survey report on water contaminants listed DEET as one of the compounds most frequently found in the nation’s streams. The U.S. EPA regards DEET as “slightly toxic” to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates — which, given its frequent appearance in waterways, should give one pause.
I decided that if small steps could help change the ecosystem, and BIG choices of going green could help protect my children from any long term issues, I would rather be safe than sorry. I will choose plants over chemical compounds any day.
Love + Peace
Bug Girl Lisa
First of all, let's clear up some misconceptions about the term “toxin” itself. “Toxin” technically refers to a naturally occurring chemical (produced by a plant or animal). When discussing problematic (and usually synthetic) chemicals in consumer products, the terms "toxicants", "toxics", or "toxic chemicals" are more accurate - so these are the terms we’re going to stick to in this post.
Our 'Never List': Artificial Colors, Artificial Fragrance, MEA (Monoethanolamine), DEA (Diethanolamine), or TEA (Triethanolamine) derivatives, Parabens, PEG Compounds, Phthalates, Silicones, Sulfates
We know it’s a lot to take in, and also a little scary! We don’t yet have perfect knowledge here, but we’re doing our best to find “the truth” - as much as that’s possible - and we’re committed to sharing our learnings as we go (please chime in if you have any questions or comments or something to add!).
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