Text by Alyson Sheppard
That favorite bug spray of yours—the one with 90 percent deet—may cause internal organ failure. According to a study published Wednesday, the most popular ingredient in insect repellent is toxic to not only the central nervous systems of bugs, but also humans, and gets worse when combined with other forms of repellent.
"These findings question the safety of deet," wrote researcher Vincent Corbel from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in Montpellier. "And they highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the development of safer insect repellents for use in public health."
The team of biologists found that deet "inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetycholinesterase," and say more tests are critical to determine how dangerous deet can be.
Read more of what Corbel had to say in Science Daily.
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