Repellents & Pregnancy

EPA Repellent Information

EPA Repellent Information

Women are especially concerned about health risks during pregnancy that could affect their child. Some chemicals and drugs are known to have adverse effects and are to be avoided. To be safe, many pregnant women try to avoid as many chemicals as possible. What about mosquito repellents? Should they be avoided? This question becomes more important as Zika virus spreads. The bottom line: There should be no worry about repellent use. The worry should be about NOT using repellent.  Exposure to Zika is a far greater risk than repellent use.

Mosquito repellents are safe for pregnant women when used according to directions. There are no documented cases of adverse effects or other harm to babies born to mothers who used mosquito repellents. In areas where Zika is spread, the risk of harm from Zika can be greatly reduced by using repellents. The Environmental Working Group has a useful guide to repellents that compares effectiveness. Repellents have labels that indicate effectiveness of the product. Chose a product that is effective. “Natural” products are not necessarily “safer” than scientifically designed products.

As always, guidelines for repellent use should be followed. When indoors, repellent can be washed from the skin with soapy water. Repellents can be used to treat clothing as well as skin. Covering the skin and avoiding areas with high mosquito populations is advisable. Window screens and measures that prevent mosquito entry indoors are a must.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Health. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s