Tick Study Leads to Inaccurate and Potentially Dangerous Pesticide Advice in Media Reports

(Beyond Pesticides, July 13, 2018) Earlier this year, a study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that a known carcinogen, the synthetic pyrethroid permethrin, when applied to clothing may function as a tick deterrent. The study has led to many misleading and potentially dangerous headlines, such as National Public Radio’s story “To Repel Ticks, Try Spraying Your Clothes With A Pesticide That Mimics Mums.” These articles encourage readers to use permethrin treated clothing, and downplay the risks associated with its use. Moreover, as noted by Consumer Reports, the CDC study in question does not go as far as recommending that individuals use permethrin treated clothing. The study placed ticks of different species and life stages on cloth cut from permethrin treated clothing. Researchers found that the majority of ticks had difficulty moving after exposure to the fabric. However, this effect did vary with life stages, as adult ticks were generally able handle pesticide exposure longer than nymph stage ticks. However, as James Dickerson, PhD, chief scientific officer of Consumer Reports notes, “The CDC’s study did not test any items while they were being worn, so it doesn’t […]

The post Tick Study Leads to Inaccurate and Potentially Dangerous Pesticide Advice in Media Reports appeared first on Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog.

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