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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-085-1757, Everglades National Park, Everglades, Florida.
McConnell-R; Fidler-AT; Chrislip-D
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 83-085-1757, 1986 Dec; :1-103
Adverse health effects from exposure to N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (134623) (DEET), an insect repellant, in employees of Everglades National Park, Florida were investigated in response to a request from the National Park Service. Employees had expressed concern about its use, and there were anecdotal reports of confusion and abnormal sweating. Approximately 155 workers were employed and would be expected to use DEET from April through October. Initial study included a self administered questionnaire (143 employees) and urinalysis (20 employees) by high pressure liquid chromatography. Reported DEET use correlated well with urine levels. Neurobehavioral analysis showed significant correlations between DEET exposure and affective symptoms, insomnia, muscle cramps, and urinary hesitation. Neurologic symptoms and skin rashes and blisters were anecdotally reported by workers. A follow up survey for pre (March) and post (August) exposure times included questionnaires and neuroperformance testing; 77 workers participated in both time segments. Initial neurologic symptoms were not confirmed; however, impaired cognitive functioning and daytime sleepiness increased post exposure. The authors conclude that skin rashes, daytime sleepiness, and impaired cognitive function are significantly associated with DEET exposure. Since a safe alternative is not available, it is recommended that exposure be minimized by using lower concentrations and making use of protective clothing.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-83-085-1757; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-4; Hazard-Confirmed; Humans; Insecticides; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Clinical-symptoms; Nervous-system-disorders; Mental-processes; Skin-disorders; Author Keywords: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide; diethyltoluamide; DEET; insect repellant; neurobehavioral effects; sleep disturbance; urinary dysfunction
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division