What is Insect Shield?
Insect Shield® Repellent Apparel and Insect Shield® Repellent Gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield apparel and gear is the result of years of research and testing. In July 2003, Insect Shield Repellent Apparel was registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accepted an amendment extending the durability claims of Insect Shield Repellent Apparel from 25 washes to 70 washes. The duration of the repellency is supported by experimental data. Insect Shield apparel and gear products combine the Insect Shield process with a proprietary formulation of the insect repellent permethrin resulting in effective insect protection that lasts the expected lifetime of a garment.
Is Insect Shield EPA-registered?
Insect Shield Repellent Apparel is EPA registered. (Reg. No. 74843-2) Insect Shield Repellent Gear is EPA registered. (Reg. No. 74843-5)
What does EPA registration mean?
The EPA registration process is designed to evaluate a proposed product to ensure it will not have adverse effects on people or the environment. Insect Shield products have been rigorously evaluated on multiple levels, the chemistry, the application process and the final consumer product.
Insect Shield® Repellent Apparel has been registered to repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums). Insect Shield® Repellent Gear has been registered to repel mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and flies. The EPA requires extensive effectiveness data to prove a product's ability to repel insects. Many species and varieties of these insects have been tested, including many that can carry dangerous diseases.
A small item of Insect Shield clothing provides less repellency than a larger one. You may need to adjust the amount of Insect Shield apparel you wear, depending on the number of biting insects that are present. For example, you might prefer to wear pants instead of shorts in certain situations; long sleeves instead of short; or add a hat and socks. Topical repellent can be used for exposed skin, and is especially recommended for heavily infested locations.
Does the product have an odor?
Insect Shield Repellent Apparel feels and smells the same as other clothing.
The repellency of Insect Shield apparel is EPA-registered to last through 70 launderings, the expected lifetime of a garment. This is also well beyond the life of most performance fabric finishes commonly used in the technical-apparel industry. Insect Shield gear repellency remains effective through 6 months of exposure to weathering, or through 25 launderings for washable items.
Insect Shield products also have a long shelf life. Insect Shield-treated garments stored for ten years have shown no loss of repellent effectiveness.
Insect Shield Repellent Apparel puts insect repellency near your skin, instead of on it, and the protection is invisible. Also, the repellency is long lasting, so no re-application is needed.
The proprietary Insect Shield process is designed to prevent loss of active ingredient outside the system, and once applied, Insect Shield repellency is so tightly bound to fabric fibers that garments retain effective repellency through 70 launderings.
Why does the Insect Shield label say “dispose of in trash after use?”
This indicates that Insect Shield products can be simply deposited in the trash and require no special disposal process. Eventually, the repellency becomes exhausted through wearing and laundering.
How do you care for Insect Shield products?
For items that can be washed, normal home laundering is recommended. Insect Shield repellent apparel can be bleached, starched, pressed, etc., without effect on the repellent quality; however, it should not be dry-cleaned.
Why can't the products be dry-cleaned?
Dry cleaning removes some of the active ingredient which reduces the insect repellent quality of the apparel.
Who recommends permethrin-treated apparel?
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), www.cdc.gov/travel
- The World Health Organization (WHO), www.who.int
- National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lyme/
- The American Academy of Family Physicians, http://www.familydoctor.org
- The Public Health Agency of Canada, www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Insect Shield represents a promising new approach to the longstanding problem of protection against both insects and the diseases they can carry. All of the above agencies actively encourage at-risk individuals to use permethrin-treated clothing as a protective measure against insect-borne diseases.
Permethrin has been successfully used in the United States as an EPA-registered product since 1977, with an excellent safety record. Permethrin is used in lice shampoos for children, flea dips for dogs, and various other products, some of which are regulated by the FDA.
Millions of permethrin-treated bed nets are being distributed globally via malaria control programs. Insect Shield-treated uniforms are now being utilized by international relief organizations to help protect them in areas prone to insect-borne diseases. Research is also being done on the impact of future alternative Insect Shield products.