Mosquitoes are a nuisance! To get an idea of how much we don’t like them, one just has to see the sketches of these mosquitoes in mosquito repellents commercials. Absolutely villainous. But that’s not without good reason. Mosquitoes have killed people by thousands with diseases like malaria, dengue, chikangunya etc. and to avoid them is always wise.
Humanity has devised many ways of doing it. Good old mosquito coils, to vaporizers, to sprays and most recently, flash cards.
There are Natural repellents and synthetic repellents.
Natural repellents like Neem oil or birch tree bark stay effective for only 30 to 60 minutes after application and need constant reapplication. Not something very practical, especially when one is outdoors braving mosquitoes.
Chemical based Synthetic Repellents
Synthetic repellents on the other hand, stay effective for long hours, but when something is being inhaled by us for long, we would do good to see if it adversely affects us.
The repellent works by making our body something the mosquito wouldn’t find appetizing enough or by killing them.
By making use of repellents we are the maggot crawling cheese blocks of the mosquito world, which is amazing, as mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of blood and anything to mask it is a happy life ahead of us.
Is it safe?
Let us evaluate it step by step. First on the list is the ever sinister mosquito coil. Honestly, if you are still using it, you need to step out of 2005 and into 2016, pronto. The harm from burning a single mosquito coil is as bad as the harm your lungs will take from burning 100 cigarettes. Yep, it’s that bad. So mosquito coil is a neat strike through on the list.
Vapourizers & Sprays
The next, is the vaporizer, the ones with refills that can be plugged into and forgotten about. Vaporizers contain chemicals that are harmful when inhaled and consumed in large quantities or when in direct contact with the skin, all of which, are things that need not be done with vaporizers. So as long as you are using it in well ventilated spaces, and are following the instructions ( Like, not trying to sniff the mystery of the vaporizer) , you should be fine.
The same goes for sprays, unless you inhale them or are in direct contact with them more than that is necessary, it will be hunky dory.
Now, mosquito repellents in cream form is a little different as they are in direct contact with the skin. Mostly, skin repellents are safe when applied in reasonable quantities and responsibly. As a misuse or overuse of anything isn’t expected to be good for your health, let’s only focus on the aspect of “responsible” use of mosquito repellents causing harm to skin.
Though, it’s safe, certain chemicals like Pyrethrum used in the repellents, on prolonged application, has shown to worsen asthma and other allergies. Nervous weakness too has been observed to be a major side effect.
In all the above cases, one trend is prevalent. Follow the instructions and throw away the mosquito coils and you will be away from the pesky little mosquitoes.
How safe are mosquito repellents for children and pregnant women?
Creams are safe when applied. But during the application it is recommended that adults take the task over and not assign it to the kids. Applying it to their palms isn’t advised as well, as there are chances that the product could get into their eyes. Toddlers could be spared the ordeal and be just bundled up the old fashioned way in blues and pinks and be made to look cute.
Mosquito coils ( why are we even talking about it still ) are a no – no to the most sturdy, muscled, ripped stud even. Vaporizers and sprays must be kept out of reach and having an eye out for extra curious behavior around repellents is always helpful.
For pregnant women, staying safe of malaria is more important. Mosquito repellents are safe for pregnant women too but there are some extra precautions you need to take. If applying cream, steer clear of higher concentrations than 50 percent, they will not provide you better protection either ways.
Do not apply on cuts and wounds or under clothing. Apply only to areas of skin exposed to the surroundings. And, when you are back indoors, wash it off of you.
All in all, it’s a recommended product! However when indoors and when possible, a good old mosquito net or a vaporizer seems to be a better idea. Though extra precautions should be taken, considering the vulnerability in such delicate conditions. Long live the human race.
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