I choose to be DEET- Free because I love my children and I love this planet. So much of my choice goes beyond using the insect repellent once or twice during the mosquito season, or on a camping trip sparingly. I use bug spray on my family all day long, almost all year long living in Charleston, SC. I am also well aware that our skin & scalp soak up 60% of our personal care products in a mere 26 seconds of application toxins enter our blood stream and move onto our organs to be flushed out. Its undetermined how long this process actually takes, and how long the toxins LIVE in our system before our bodies rid them as each one of us differs in age, size, and how our bodies break down toxins.
I can't lie, I HAVE I sprayed DEET on my kids in some desperate situations where I didn't have any other option. But I was disgusted when after bath time ( a good 30 min for my kids with all natural soap) I literally could easily still smell the DEET and the kids had slight rash topically on their skin. I was worried that this stuff is so powerful and strong and didn't seem to wash off easily on my own kids, what it was doing to our environment? Where does it go? And how does the runoff effect our ecosystem.
I found that although DEET is not expected to bioaccumulate, it has been found to have a slight toxicity for fresh-water fish such as rainbow trout and tilapia, and it also has been shown to be toxic for some species of freshwater zooplankton. DEET is also a persistent environmental contaminant that breaks down slowly in soil. A recent U.S. Geological Survey report on water contaminants listed DEET as one of the compounds most frequently found in the nation’s streams. The U.S. EPA regards DEET as “slightly toxic” to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates — which, given its frequent appearance in waterways, should give one pause.
I decided that if small steps could help change the ecosystem, and BIG choices of going green could help protect my children from any long term issues, I would rather be safe than sorry. I will choose plants over chemical compounds any day.
Love + Peace
3 travel Must-Haves for Spring Break
1.) SPF and SPF gear
2.) Insect repellent
3.) Refillable Water Bottles / Thermos
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