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One in nine of repellents effective against mosquitoes: foundation

One in nine of repellents effective against mosquitoes: foundation

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) The Consumers' Foundation said Thursday that only one out of nine essential oil-based mosquito repellent products it has tested contains DEET -- the most common active ingredient in insect repellents -- while the quality of the eight others labeled as "natural" has not been identified by the Taiwanese authorities. As the dengue fever outbreak continues to escalate in southern parts of Taiwan, the foundation called a press conference that day to explain the best way to select mosquito repellent. The foundation released the test results of the nine samples it bought at a hypermarket Sept. 2, which show that while most of the products are marketed as "natural" or "non-toxic," only one -- Off Insect Repellent Solution -- contains 15 percent DEET, officially certified as being effective against mosquitoes. The foundation said, citing information from the United States, that bug spray products for use on children should contain less than 10 percent DEET. In addition, products containing DEET should not be used on infants younger than two months. Pregnant women should also avoid exposure to DEET products and adults are suggested to use only such products that contain less than 30 percent DEET. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also advises that bug spray products containing DEET should only be used outdoors. The eight repellents billed as natural products are essential oil products containing plant or herbal ingredients such as eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon and mint, as well as pomelo extract. Currently, natural repellent products on the market have not passed quality and ingredient tests by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) based on inspection standards set up by essential oil-producing countries, which means that consumers are unable to determine whether the content of such products is consistent with their label information, according to the foundation. (By Yang Su-min and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-09-23 15:22 GMT+08:00