Sunday, August 23, 2015

EWG's Guide to Bug Repellents

West Nile virus, carried by mosquitoes, infected more than 5,674 Americans last year and 286 of them died, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2013C).  

The incidence of Lyme disease, spread by ticks, has more than doubled over the last 15 years, with 24,364 confirmed cases recorded in 2011 (CDC 2013A, CDC 2013B).
Both these illnesses, and other pest-borne diseases, can have serious and occasionally life-altering consequences.   Many experts expect to see more cases in the future as the warming climate expands the habitat of species that spread pathogens.
Yet many people are understandably concerned about the possible drawbacks of common repellents such as DEET.  At EWG, we certainly were. So we spent 18 months digging into the question: what are the safest and most effective ways to prevent bug bites and the diseases they may transmit? 

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