Saturday, May 23, 2009

Putting these to rest - long, sorry

Two items on my mind recently. Bloody noses and bug spray. Wow, now there's an example of a sentence I never thought I'd write. Anyhow, these two items have been on my mind tonight and I wanted to do a little bit of research to give me a better understanding and to share what I learn with my adoring public (i.e. - Wifey and maybe one or two other strange, bored people).

First, bloody noses. JAM has been complaining about bloody noses. Not that he's causing them of course. Nope, these are the run of the mill immaculate bloody noses - definitely not the result of a finger or some other foreign body being shoved up any nostrils here buddy. As we were in the car tonight on our way to a fantastic night of Chipotle (super-yum), 5 Guys and a bonfire in DBCJ's back yard, JAM tells us he's got a bloody nose. Not much, from what I could tell, just a little bit. Again, as he assured us, definitely not caused by anything being shoved up there. So I started thinking about it, and he brought it up a few minutes later, what's the best way to deal with a ruptured schnoz?

Wifey contends that the old way was to pinch it closed and lean your head back but the right way is to pinch it, lean forward, and if necessary you can put a cold compress on your neck. So, let's find out shall we?

Oh, I hate it when she's right....
If there was anyone to take seriously, I guess it would have to be the National Institutes of Health huh?

But, I was happy to hear that nosebleeds "can be frightening for some patients, but are rarely life threatening." Oh joy - I most likely won't die from a nosebleed.

One down, one to go - bug spray is next. I guess you can call this little investigation, "To Deet or not to Deet." Or, "What the hell is Picaridin?"

I did look this one up a while back, and from what I remember, Deet is good hooch, but not exactly for little kids. When I went to the local Targé to get this spring's supply of Off, I looked for pure Deet for me, and something less skin-peeling for the little ones. Pure Deet you ask? Oh yes, pure Deet. I had gotten a small bottle of Off Deep Woods a few years back (I'm pretty sure it was a sample attached to another bottle of something) that was 100% Deet. Seriously, this stuff was amazing. Bugs wouldn't come within a hectare of me. I loved it, but I think Wifey was kind of scared we'd ever be able to have kids after this stuff got on me. (Seriously? With my potency? lol)

Anyhow, apparently Target doesn't want to put something so potent back into the untrained hands of suburban backyard warriors anymore, so all I could find was something with 25% Deet for me and something with 5% of something purely natural called Picaridin. I think what we need to do first is figure out what the hell Deet and Picaridin are.

Um... wow. Apparently Deet had a homepage. Yup, That isn't a good sign. If you need to create a web site for a chemical, presumably to either control the spin or counter what I would assume to be negative press, it can't be positive right? That's like water having it's one web site. Oh, wait. Never mind - Not quite the same thing, but I just thought it was funny that someone thought to grab back when the internets were young.

Back on message. I didn't want to get some slanted opinion or collection of carefully chosen "facts" though. So, sorry, you're out. How about the EPA? Yup, found a page there -

End result? "After completing a comprehensive re-assessment of DEET, EPA concluded that, as long as consumers follow label directions and take proper precautions, insect repellents containing DEET do not present a health concern."

The main precautions are pretty easy to follow, and are listed on that page so I'll not waste space putting them here. I was happy to see that contrary to what I'd heard in passing conversation, nothing said specifically that children should not use Deet. Obviously you shouldn't let kids put it on themselves, and you shouldn't put it on young children's hands, or near their eyes or mouth. In fact, they even said "DEET is approved for use on children with no age restriction. There is no restriction on the percentage of DEET in the product for use on children, since data do not show any difference in effects between young animals and adult animals in tests done for product registration."

I know, that was just the EPA. Who can trust those government clowns right? How about the CDC then? Oh, they're feds too huh? Well, let's just see what they have to say first...

According to the CDC, and backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Deet is fine. The basic idea is, the more Deet in the spray, the longer it says effective. Although there have been no definitive studies showing what concentration to use on which age group, the AAP states that parents should determine how long the child will be exposed to the pests (no, not siblings) and choose a level appropriate to that time frame. 10% is good for two hours, 24% is good for up to five hours. The interesting part is that you don't need to reapply, even if you go swimming or sweat a lot - Deet isn't water soluble.

Alright, so Deet is fine. Now what about this Picaridin stuff?

Oh boy. I found a fun filled, six-page fact sheet on 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methyl propyl ester. Oh, right, you don't go around calling things by their scientific names either? Well fine - Picaridin it is. And here's the fact sheet - pdf style - Yuppers, I actually looked at it too! Result? Safe. Even to birds and rainbow trout apparently.

Other than that, and a mention in the previously linked article by the AAP, not much is out there on Picaridin. The general consensus is that it is safe, but nothing long term has been done on any of this stuff.

In the future, I'm going to stick with Deet.


Trillian42 said...

Personally, my favorite chemical website is this one -


And hubby gets nosebleeds, too - sometimes it's dryness in the sinuses. JAM might need a humidifier in his room, especially if he gets them in the winter.

Amanda said...

Picaridin is new - can't have long term studies on something new. I think it was recently approved.

Deet is old as dirt, hence the plethora of information.

Let's just say I know someone who knows someone, and you'll likely be seeing more Picaridin soon, and continually less Deet (hence not being able to get the 100% stuff).

Corinne said...

Sheely gets random nosebleeds all the time - but so did I as a kid. It's pretty annoying how often they happen in the car though :)