Zika and mosquitoes are in the news virtually every day. People will be using a whole lot of DEET this summer. But, DEET is a "chemical," so that means it must be bad for you, right? Hardly.
In what is just one more example of fear-based marketing, a company is selling "natural chemical" bracelets that supposedly protect kids from mosquitoes. Not only is this not going to work, but the natural chemical is just as toxic as DEET — the insect repellant that the company takes great pains to note, is absent. If this was on "Jeopardy" we'd call out this firm accordingly.
Mosquito season is around the corner, and there may be an extra surprise this year, depending on how Zika behaves. So, do you slop DEET all over your kids? Spray to kill the mosquitoes? Some are calling for the use of DDT. But if you're scared of chemicals, you might actually prefer DDT to DEET. Here's how they compare.
ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom quoted in The Wall Street Journal, September 4, 2014.