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Understanding Deet

Everything you need to know about Deet when considering skin protection.
Skeetsafe deet insect repellent

“Deet”: N-diethyl m-toluamide

  • Has been used since 1954 in Insect Repellents.
  • Is used in virtually all Repellents as the ACTIVE*
    ** Active Ingredients: The Ingredients that make a Product Perform.
  • EPA approved as safe for humans in repellents.
  • Emits a Vapour Shield 2″-3″ Above Sprayed Area.
  • Repels Insects by severely irritating their outer body.
  • In higher concentrations generally repels insects longer.
  • DEET: Using the latest health protection standards, DEET was re-evaluated in 2001 to ensure continued acceptable use and extra protection for children. DEET-based repellents at various concentrations offer different protection times. Examples of protection times based on DEET concentration are as follows:
    • 30% – 6 hours
    • 15% – 5 hours
    • 10% – 3 hours
    • 5% – 2 hours

Canadian PMRA Regulations

As of August 2002, manufactures of insect repellents can no longer produce product as per the following:

  • Maximum amount of DEET used of 30%.
  • Cannot use MGK@264 – Insecticide Synergist (N-octyl bicyloheptene dicarboximide).
  • Cannot use MGK@ Repellent 326 (Di-n-propyl isocinchomeronate).
  • Products that combined sunscreen with insect repellent.

Children under 6 months of age

  • DO NOT use personal insect repellents containing DEET on infants.

Children aged 6 months to 2 years

  • In situations where a high risk of complications from insect bites exist, the use of one application per day of DEET may be considered for this age group.
  • The least concentrated product (10% DEET or less) should be used.
  • As with all insect repellents, the product should be applied sparingly and not be applied to the face and hands.
  • Prolonged use should be avoided.

Children between 2-12 years of age

  • The least concentrated product (10% DEET or less) should be used.
  • Do not apply more than three times per day.
  • Prolonged use should be avoided.

Choosing A Product

  • Choose a product that meets your needs. For example, if you plan to be outdoors for a short period of time, choose a product with a lower concentration of repellent and repeat application only if you need a longer protection time.
  • Use only personal insect repellents that are registered in Canada. They have a registration number granted under the Pest Control Products Act (P.C.P.) and are labelled as insect repellents for use on humans. Never use a product labelled as an insecticide on your body.

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