New Insect Repellent Options

By Christina Elston

To encourage families to use insect repellent as protection against West Nile Virus and other infections, the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has sanctioned two new repellent options: picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Picaridin, also called KBR 3023, has been used in Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia for several years and is now available in the United States. It has been shown to work as well as DEET products of similar concentration, but is not recommended for children under age 3.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus, also called p-methane 3,8-diol or PMD, is a widely available plant-based repellent that provides protection similar to products with a low concentration of DEET. It must be reapplied more often, but is safe for all ages.

Both products are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, which has evaluated them for safety and effectiveness. Experts caution, however, that families should read and follow label directions whenever using repellent.

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