START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

DEET Mosquito Repellents Linked to Brain Damage

DEET Mosquito Repellents Linked to Brain Damage

DEET, or diethyl-meta-toluamide, by any other name still stinks.  The main ingredient in most commercial mosquito repellents has been linked by Duke University researchers to brain cell damage, harmful interactions with some medications, and behavioural changes.  The lead researcher and pharmacologist on the study observed brain cell death and behavioural changes in animals exposed to DEET after frequent and prolonged use.

Another study showed that up to fifteen percent of DEET is directly absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream.  Considering the toxic effects of diethyl-meta-toluamide listed in material safety data sheets, which include:  reproductive disturbances, genetic material mutations, and central nervous system disorders, that’s a scary amount.

Mohamed Abou-Donia, PhD, has been researching the effects of chemicals on the brains of rats for over 30 years.  He’s discovered, in two separate studies, that the frequent and prolonged applications of DEET cause neurons to die in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory, and concentration.  He also found that rats treated with a comparable human dose of DEET (40mg/kg of body weight) performed far worse than control rats when challenged with physical tasks required muscle control, strength, and coordination.  The animals in his studies experienced physical symptoms consistent with those experienced by Persian Gulf War veterans, according to Abou-Donia.

Even U.S. Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxicologist Michael Watson has reported an instance “where exposure to DEET caused six cases of brain damage in girls aged one through six – and three of them died.”

If you’re spraying yourself or your family members with DEET-based mosquito repellents, it’s time to reconsider.

Check out my article 6 Ways to Beat Mosquitoes Naturally.

Read more: Alzheimer's, Children, General Health, Green, Health & Safety, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Nature, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


+ add your own
8:34PM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

Interesting. Never use the stuff!

9:21AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

Thak you

7:06AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

I used Deet once, whilst on holiday in the Dom Rep; it brought me up in such a bad rash that I never used it again - very glad now that I stopped!

7:08PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

DEET messes up the varnish on your guitar if you play wearing repellent.

3:09PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

3:58AM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

I was always using DEED while working outside on my garden or walking in the woods for I love the outdoors. A few years ago I was informed I have brain tumor, now I am wondering? mmmm?

1:13AM PDT on Jun 15, 2012


4:25AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:44AM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

Good to know, thanks!~

2:55PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

What a smart dog!! Great to watch, thanks!

I have no problem with gluten, so if I need flour I use the regular stuff. I don't bake and I don't…

None of the guys I dated looked anything alike. Don't have any idea what that means, but they had s…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!