Fashion wins! The ChronicleHerald.ca has a report on clothing pretreated with the insecticide permethrin. It is now available for consumers and purportedly helps ward off mosquitos with few ill-effects:
“I have a couple of these shirts and I love them, not because they look good, but because they work,” said McConnell, a former director of the division of toxicology, research, and testing at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, who now is a private consultant in Raleigh, N.C.
McConnell, who does not have financial ties to pesticide companies or clothing makers, said he still put a little of the insect repellent DEET on the back of his exposed neck on the buggiest days in Alaska, and sprayed some along the brim of his cap. But he credits the permethrin-treated shirt for warding off swarms of mosquitoes that would otherwise bite through the thin cloth on his back as he wades into creeks.
…Tommy Hilfiger now markets a line of twill golf shorts and cotton polo shirts treated with permethrin. Ex Officio sells treated gardening aprons, canvas gloves, and socks. And L.L. Bean offers insecticide-drenched hats, shirts, and zip-off convertible hiking pants in tropical colors.
…Is all this garb really necessary? More to the point, is it safe, and does it work?
For safety, the answer is encouraging, though the data is not all in. Permethrin is a synthetic, longer-lasting cousin to a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums. Since 1977, it has been incorporated in various products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for killing or controlling insects.
Unlike DEET or other repellents thought to confuse biting insects by masking carbon dioxide in breath and other body odors, permethrin is thought to stun or kill the bugs by disrupting their nervous systems when they bite something coated with the chemical – or, perhaps, just get close to it. Permethrin is thought to work even better than DEET against ticks.
The clothing is said to be effective for up to 25 washings. With West Nile, Malaria, and Lyme Disease posing significant risks these days, this clothing could be just what the doctor ordered.
Keep an eye on www.medgadget.com for more breaking developments in the world of functional clothing.
Read the full article here…