Sunday, June 30, 2002

Tomato-based repellent 'beats Deet'

A mosquito repellent that includes a compound from tomatoes could prove safer and more effective than current chemicals.

Preventing mosquito bites is a key part of efforts to prevent the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, particularly among travellers to tropical countries.

Deet (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), the active ingredient in the majority of repellent sprays and creams, has been linked with occasionally severe reactions.

The US Environmental Protection Agency no longer allows labels of products containing Deet to describe them as "safe for children".

The discovery, by scientists at North Carolina State University, US, could produce a repellent which is less toxic.

The tomato plant has an innate ability to fend off attacks from insects.

Source BBC News


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