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Print 17 comment(s) - last by Adonlude.. on Jun 2 at 3:59 PM

Move over, DEET, new studies have shown a better alternative.

For Memorial Day weekend campers, two things are almost always certain: rain and mosquitoes. Unfortunately we can’t do anything about the rain, but there’s a new study that may make mountain men everywhere rejoice.

The chemists of the University of Florida and the U.S. department of agriculture feel your pain. They’ve just published a study that might lead to improving the lives mosquito haters everywhere. Currently, the most effective ingredient in insect repellent on the market is DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). DEET has been the gold standard for over 50 years and it protects us from the various diseases we can contract from mosquito bites such as malaria, West Nile Virus, yellow fever, encephalitis, Lyme disease and dengue fever. DEET is the ingredient used in most insect repellents. Around one third of the American population use insect repellent according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Kenan Professor Alan R Katritzky of the University of Florida led the way having researchers review hundreds of chemicals, data that has been collected by the USDA for the past 50 years. After each chemical was reviewed, they were rated on effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 5. They took all the highest ratings and compared the chemicals in order to figure out what the common factor was.

N-acylpiperidines was the chemical that they found the most effective compounds had in common. N-acylpiperidine, according to the New York Times, is similar to the active ingredient found in pepper. They took 34 of the most effective, then weeded it down to 10, and then again to 7. These 7 chemicals were vigorously scrutinized on factors such as production cost and level of toxicity.

These researchers have found these 7 chemicals that may pave the way to a new and improved mosquito repellent. DEET on average lasts about 17.5 days after its initial application. These new chemicals haven’t been safely tested on fully exposed skin yet, but when they were tested on volunteers they discovered that they were still repelling mosquitoes up to 50 days later. A couple of the chemicals even were found to last 73 days later, about four times longer than DEET.

The tests involved the volunteers wearing gloves with holes in them and then their gloved hands were wrapped in a cloth saturated with the chemical. The volunteer’s wrapped hand would be place into box containing live mosquitoes for precisely one minute; this process was then repeated every day. Failure of the test was determined if 5 mosquitoes or more bit through the cloth.

So far so good, the research holds a lot of potential for creating superior insect repellents everywhere. DEET should enjoy its reign while it can, as it may be replaced soon.



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Good work!
By Adonlude on 5/28/2008 4:59:50 PM , Rating: 3
I am really really happy to hear that the war on mozzies is making new advances. Man I hate mosquitos! They are the reason I almost never go camping. If one gets in my house I absolutely can not relax until I have found it and given it a magazine to read.

One of the last times I was camping a mozzie got into my tent and I was up with a flashlight , lighter, and hair spray doing the flame thrower thing. My girlfiend was not impressed.

So thanks for the hard work! I guess I can soon put my military issue DEET bottle aside and go get some of this new stuff.




RE: Good work!
By FITCamaro on 5/28/2008 5:48:21 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
One of the last times I was camping a mozzie got into my tent and I was up with a flashlight , lighter, and hair spray doing the flame thrower thing. My girlfiend was not impressed.


I smell a future Darwin award winner.


RE: Good work!
By AnnihilatorX on 5/29/2008 8:55:56 AM , Rating: 2
It'd be 10 times easier to kill it with a slap of your hands you know


RE: Good work!
By Adonlude on 6/2/2008 3:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about that. A quick burst of heat from a fireball is mighty effective on insects. No messy hands either.


DEET on average lasts about 17.5 days
By ViroMan on 5/29/2008 6:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
DEET on average lasts about 17.5 days after its initial application. These new chemicals haven’t been safely tested on fully exposed skin yet, but when they were tested on volunteers they discovered that they were still repelling mosquitoes up to 50 days later.

GREAT now I can go 50 days without a shower!

Seriously wouldn't the chemicals come off after taking a shower? I mean.. most things come off when soap is a applied to them right? So... those dudes went 50-75 days without washing an arm? Can you imagine what a white dudes arm looks like after 50 days without washing? Let alone the SMELL?




RE: DEET on average lasts about 17.5 days
By Regs on 5/30/2008 8:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
Arm?

I only worry about the primary 4.

Butt, crotch, armpits, and teeth. Save a lot of time by using the same brush =)


By ViroMan on 5/30/2008 10:03:28 PM , Rating: 3
I hope you don't brush with the same brush in that order.


By mindless1 on 6/2/2008 12:14:58 AM , Rating: 2
The smell of a small section of someone's arm would probably be overshadowed by the scent of soap, cologne, deodorant and other environmental scents. Let's face it, some people have BO the same day they shower but not so much from a small exposed patch of their arm where perspiration is evaporating most expediently.

What would be worse is those who had ineffective products applied. Can you imagine having tons of mosquito bites on your arm and the researcher says every day, "Hi, just stick your arm in there again for us, then we'll count the bites while you refrain from scratching at the scabs".


I feel poor for the volunteers
By AnnihilatorX on 5/28/2008 12:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The volunteer’s wrapped hand would be place into box containing live mosquitoes for precisely one minute; this process was then repeated every day. Failure of the test was determined if 5 mosquitoes or more bit through the cloth.


I feel poor for the volunteers :)
So what's good about these new repellents apart from the facts that they last longer? Are they less toxic?




RE: I feel poor for the volunteers
By Schrag4 on 5/28/2008 2:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So what's good about these new repellents apart from the facts that they last longer? Are they less toxic?


quote:
These 7 chemicals were vigorously scrutinized on factors such as production cost and level of toxicity.


I have to assume that's what this means, but I agree that some clarification about toxicity would be nice. The wording here suggests that they weeded it down to 7 chemicals and then started vigorously scrutinizing them, but it would make sense that they vigorously scrutinized all the chemicals to come up with these 7.


RE: I feel poor for the volunteers
By HVAC on 5/28/2008 2:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
The way I read it:

"We got rid of the really expensive stuff. Then we got rid of the known toxic stuff. That left us with 7 candidates."


By MrPoletski on 5/28/2008 10:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
More importantly, if I walk down mosquito ally, protected to the hilt with this stuff..

Will I feel like I do when it's deet, like I've painted myself with cooking oil?


Those poor work study students.
By OxBow on 5/30/2008 10:35:49 AM , Rating: 3
I had some pretty miserable work study jobs when I was in school, but being a lab rat for mosquito bites takes the cake.

How bad do you have to piss off your professor to get him to say "For extra credit you can shove your hand in this box of mosquitos."




By IraeNicole on 6/2/2008 11:47:37 AM , Rating: 2
Be even worse if you were in a control group with a placebo!


DEET and disease
By mattclary on 5/28/2008 3:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
DEET does not protect us from disease, it protects us from mosquitoes that may be carrying disease.

I've seen the "DEET prevents disease" quote somewhere and it drives me insane. Sounds like misleading marketing.




RE: DEET and disease
By mattclary on 5/28/2008 3:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
edit: I assume that was just a poorly chosen phrase by the author of the article and not intentional.


Long Lasting = Neutral or Bad
By mindless1 on 6/2/2008 12:09:58 AM , Rating: 3
Whether one lasts longer than the other is a bit irrelevant. Toxicity (not just as an ideal but years of testing) as well as cost, % of individuals who see irritation, ease in removal (!! the opposite of long lasting is desirable), propensity to stain various clothing fabrics, upholstery, etc, and smell are all as important when considering something put on a person's skin and clothes for what is typically one to a small number of days at most before showering again.

I'm not saying DEET is here to stay, it's bound to be displaced as it isn't quite harmless to humans either.




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