Bugs are inconvenient and bug sprays are convenient, but the whole story isn’t being told. But everything we use has a price, and sometimes that price is an investment and a good one and other times that price is at the cost of our health and wellbeing.
Bug spray in particular is an easy convenience to grab for when mosquitoes are attacking from all angles. Bugs are annoying. Bugs bug us!
But the unfortunate reality of the matter is that bug spray is chemically constituted in a lab and made with plenty of synthetically derived chemicals in a lab. These chemicals include but are not limited to DEET, propane, butane, ethanol, magnesium carbonate, isopropyl myristate, sodium benzonate and fragrance. These are just the chemicals in Johnson & Johnson’s bug spray brand “OFF” the best-selling bug spray on the market. These chemicals are very commonly used in many brands of bug spray and repellent however.
Bug sprays contain what are known as ‘insecticides’ and you have to know that anything with the word ‘cide’ in it means death. This could be suicide, insecticide, pesticide, fungicide. These different ‘cide’ based chemicals created by man were created to kill insects, pests, fungus and more. Take a look at the definition of cide when googled:
Let’s Explore The Chemicals in OFF Bug Spray Further:
Deet is a commonly used chemical agent for repelling bugs. There’s mixed information about it online but when this is the case you have to look at the big picture and see the effects it has on everyone. First, it’s a synthetic created chemical. Our skin, lungs and immune system have to ‘understand’ what these types of chemicals are in order to process them. We have a skin, lung and gut biome (bacterial balance) that gets disrupted when our body needs to discover what these actually are. DEET has given people adverse skin reactions such as rashes, even seizures, brain malfunction and fatigue. It has also caused respirator conditions and even cancer in some. It is not a ‘known carcinogen’ but the mosquito repellent market was 6.9 billion in 2021, so perhaps there’s some lobbying here.
Propane & Butane:
These are LPG’s, otherwise known as liquid propane gases. These are used to power vehicles and heat stoves, so why not spray some on your skin and breathe it right into your lungs! Kidding. These ingredients together produce carbon dioxide, water, carbon monoxide and soot when combusted. In other words, spraying them around the campfire creates an even more toxic chemical concoction. And this is normal to spray to ‘repel bugs’?
This chemical is irritating to the skin of mice and irritates the eyes as well. One thing to note here is that anything that irritates the eyes, skin, lungs, generally is not good for your health. Even from nature. So it’s important to understand that if your body is having an unhealthy reaction, it’s creating more issues. This chemical when mixed with a very basic isopropyl alcohol created a fast growing carcinogenic (cancer causing) reaction on the skin. In other words, this chemical is bad on it’s on but when mixed with other chemicals that could be in your bug spray, or in your skincare products it the becomes rapidly carcinogenic.
Sodium benzonate is very commonly used in many different chemical based products. It’s one you want to avoid. Sodium benzonate affects the hormonal system of the body as well as sperm count. A 2020 study found “that increasing doses of sodium benzoate significantly altered the weight of reproductive organs, decreased sperm count and motility and enhanced the percentage of abnormal sperms.” – So not so great for the fellas to say the least, but it affects women negatively also. This chemical is used as a preservative to preserve the formula. However, it is not safe whatsoever and is a known endocrine disruptor that confuses hormones in the body wreaking havoc.
Fragrance is simply a term used to describe a wide variety of chemicals classified under ‘fragrance’ so the real issue here is that no one really knows what Fragrance is. It could be anything! Product manufacturers hide behind this fragrance label to maintain their product secrecy, but you can count on this fragrance being synthetic and harmful to the body. In fact, Fragranced products have been associated with a range of adverse health effects, such as migraine headaches, asthma attacks, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, mucosal symptoms, and contact dermatitis!
That doesn’t smell so good to me. These fragrance based chemicals cooked up in a lab are most likely hormone disruptors as well as cancer causing chemicals as well. It’s best to avoid products with fragrance completely as you do not know what you are signing up for when you use them.
These Bug Sprays Aren’t Harming My Health! Not So Fast!
Many people will argue and say that ‘these bug sprays aren’t harming my health, they cannot be this bad. How could they be approved to be sold if so?’ Well, that poses a great question. My question back to you would be is very simple. Who regulates the production of bug sprays? the FDA? CDC? Nope, nope! The EPA (environmental production agency) is the organization that regulates the sale of insecticides in this country. But keep in mind, their job title and description. ENVIRONMENTAL protection agency.
They’re not looking at human biology and health affects of these dangerous chemicals at all. But if you research the individual components of these chemicals you quickly find that they are harmful to human health. So what can you do instead of use a toxic bug spray like OFF?
What To Use Instead Of OFF Bug Spray
Essential oils such as peppermint, lemongrass, cedarwood, lavender and tea tree oils repel bugs just as well and they actually have health benefits to them. Peppermint and lemongrass enhance your breathing, cedarwood reduces stress and anxiety. Lavender is calming and reduces stress and anxiety as well. Tea tree oil can actually treat insect bites topically as well as being a repellent. That’s a two-for-one!
I recommend checking out doterra essential oils. Not only do they have essential oils that repel bugs, but they also have essential oils that reduce stress, are great in the bath and can be diffused in your home. You can visit doterra and get discounts on essential oils by clicking here.