the alarming thing about bug repellent ingredients

the alarming thing about bug repellent ingredients

Look at any traditional bug repellent label and you’ll likely see an active ingredient listed, often DEET. While the use of DEET is worrisome — “large doses have been linked to skin blisters, seizures, memory loss, headaches, stiffness in the joints and shortness of breath, and skin irritation”* — it’s not the most alarming thing about bug repellent ingredients.

Along with an active ingredient, you’ll also see a percentage of inert ingredients on bug repellent labels. Inert ingredients are those that are added to the formula that play some other role besides controlling or repelling the pest.

Often those inert ingredients aren’t revealed on the label. Just like the dreaded “f word” (fragrance), an untold number of harmful chemicals may be hidden in the terms “inert,” “other,” or “inactive” ingredients on bug repellent labels. Federal law allows manufacturers to keep those sub-ingredients confidential under the guise of trade secrets.

Although inert ingredients may not play an active role in the primary function of the bug repellent, they may still be chemically active and toxic. According to a report published by Made Safe, an organization with a goal to change the way products are made in the United States to ultimately eliminate the use of toxic chemicals, inert ingredients may include “harmful chemicals including naphthalene (linked to cancer), xylene (linked to depression of the nervous system), and thiethanolamine (linked to respiratory problems and liver and bladder cancer in animal studies),”* as well as fragrance. Of fragrance, the report says, “Common harmful fragrance ingredients include phthalates (linked to reproductive and developmental harm), synthetic musks (potential endocrine disruptors that don’t break down in the environment), and parabens (linked to breast cancer).”*

Fortunately, there is an alternative to dangerous bug repellents.

Pure haven bug off spray is made with only safe, effective, non toxic ingredients that are safe for you, your family, and the planet. It’s specially formulated with a blend of organic witch hazel extract and peppermint, rosemary, cedarwood, citronella, clove leaf, eucalyptus, and lemongrass leaf oils, each of which are known to repel pesky, biting insects. This wonder product is available throughout the buggy summer months, until September 30, 2022, or while supplies last.

Ask your pure haven Consultant about limited release bug off spray and other safe outdoor products today.


Bug Repellent: What’s in it? Ziff, A. Randall, C. August 2016.