This is probably an article that I should have released at the beginning of summer, but I’d say it is still appropriate, seeing as it is still hot and there is still much hiking and outdoors-ing to do!
I’ll just jump right into this and say that my favorite bug spray alternative is by Badger Balm. They also make one of my favorite sunscreens, but I’m getting off topic.
Their Anti-Bug Spray is DEET and petroleum free which is a huge plus for all of us health nuts out there, but is something that everyone should be paying attention to.
Why is DEET even such a big deal?
Well, according to the Washington Post in this article, “DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), first used by the U.S. Army, has been sold to consumers since the 1950s. It can cause allergic skin reactions, particularly at concentrations of 50 percent and above, and eye irritation. A 2013 analysis of about 4,000 DEET-related calls to poison control centers found that 450 people needed medical treatment after applying DEET; two died. Most cases of seizures, slurred speech, coma and other serious side effects have occurred in people who ingested DEET or applied it for three or more days in a row, or used products with 95 percent DEET or more.”
A Duke University Study can be summarized to say that with heavy exposure to DEET humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors, shortness of breath and more. Source: Dirt Doctor
So that’s enough of that for me.
What about Petroleum?
Next up on the chopping block we have petroleum. Petroleum is in everything… So why would I pick on such a pesky product to avoid?!
Well, for starters petroleum can’t be metabolized. According to a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health in 2011, “There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person.”
The stuff enters our bodies, and then never leaves…
On top of that, it may be a carcinogenic.
I got this snippet from an article in Beauty Editor:
“According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a whopping 80 percent of all beauty products may be contaminated with one or more of the two dozen recognized cosmetic impurities that are linked to cancer and other health concerns. And petroleum- and mineral oil-based products are no exception. The EWG report goes on to say:
‘These trace contaminants in petroleum-based ingredients often readily penetrate the skin according to government and industry studies, and their presence in products is not restricted by government safety standards — they are legal at any level.’
Didja hear that? They readily penetrate our skin.
And here’s why that’s a problem. The scariest of these possible contaminants is called 1,4 dioxane, an impurity found in 22 percent of all petroleum-based cosmetics that is a possible human carcinogen and known animal carcinogen. How much you’re exposed to depends on the product you’re using: it’s in 82 percent of hair dyes, 45 percent of self-tanners and 36 percent of face moisturizers, for starters.”
Lastly, petroleum is likely to raise your estrogen. Petroleum-based products are classified as xenoestrogens. A series of 2011 studies in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry found that they can produce estrogenic effects and cause a hormonal imbalance.
This is more than enough evidence for me to invest in some healthy bug spray, what about you?