Literature reviewers back safety of high-dose DEET

UK researchers noted 14 reported cases of DEET-associated encephalopathy in children since 1957. However, causation was unproven and the incidence “small when considered against... an estimated 200 million applications of DEET worldwide each year”.

They said a European Union directive to restrict usage to repellents with a 15% concentration would result in sub-therapeutic application.

High concentrations have been linked to pathology in rats but the findings were not necessarily translatable to people, they said.

Parasites & Vectors 2014; online 2 June