Health Issues Associated with Animal and Insect Repellents

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A repellent is a chemical or a system that is designed to keep an area quarantined and safe from bugs and animals. There are many kinds of repellents, depending on the particular animal or bug that you are trying to part with.

Repellents of every kind are meant to keep unwanted pests away from humans. These pests can be insects or animals. Repellents are made to work on almost every typeof pest, however its important to get the type of repellent related to your specific needs, as misuse can bring a variety of unwanted results from simply not repelling anything at all to creating aggression, especially in larger animals.

Repellents can come in a variety of forms – from electronic and ultrasonic repellents that emit sounds on a certain frequency, to organic, natural or homemade variety that use elements found in nature such as grasses and plants to heavy chemical mixtures. In general, repellents that use strong chemicals are more effective than any other method although there may be a few, specific instances when this is not the case.

The largest risk posed by repellents, especially those of a chemical nature, is health-related. Certain compounds can have a debilitating effect on human health, especially in young children or those with certain, preexisting health issues. Most organic repellents are considered to be safe for humans and the environment; however are not as effective as other methods. Even so, prolonged use or exposure to repellent of any kind will pose a health risk, even though it may be small. These can include redness, rashes, swelling or other topical irritations. Ingestion of an organic repellent is not considered to be fatal; however, such incidents should always be reported to the Poison Control Center.

Chemical repellents, such as DEET, pose the greatest risk to human health, although the extent of which the risks are present are debatable. Issues include psychological effects like hallucinations, delusions and extreme agitation, fatalities, decreased brain-function, reproductive issues and retardation of children at birth after dermal exposure through the mother.

While most of these health-related issues associated with any repellents are rare, they are in fact present and should be considered when thinking about applying a repellent to the skin or even for using in enclosed spaces such as in a house or other structured dwelling. Most repellent makers have very explicit instructions for use and these should be followed exactly. Otherwise, the risk of developing a long-term health issue rises significantly.