Common Insect Repellent Affects Nervous System Same As Nerve Gas.
Posted Aug 06 2009 11:22pm
Common Insect Repellent Affects Nervous System Same As Nerve Gas
PARIS — One of the world's most common insect repellents acts on the central nervous system in the same way as some insecticides and nerve gases, according to a study released on Wednesday. Experiments on insects, as well as on enzymes extracted from mice and human neurons, showed for the first time that deet can interfere with the proper functioning of the nervous system. Their findings shed light on the so-called "Gulf War Syndrome," the name given to a complex and variable mix of neurological symptoms reported by tens of thousands of US military veterans who served in the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1990-1991. Some 200 million people use deet-based products every years, according to the study, published in the British-based open-access journal BMC Biology. The researchers say further studies are "urgently needed" to assess deet's potential toxicity to humans, especially when combined with other chemical compounds.