—I am pleased that my article stimulated some research by a major manufacturer of a DEET-based mosquito repellent. However, I find the results of Davies et al difficult to interpret in light of the work of Wu et al1 that they cite in their letter. The experiment of Wu et al was quite similar to that of Davies et al, but its results were quite different. The DEET dose used by Wu et al was marginally less (133 mg/kg vs 148 mg/kg). Unfortunately, only the eight-hour blood concentration was obtained; the 0.016 mmol/L (0.31 mg/dL) of DEET found is about 3½ times the average peak concentration reported by Davies et al. More importantly, this was not a peak blood concentration. Companion urinary excretion data clearly demonstrated that peak concentrations occurred in the first hour after exposure. The data of Wu et al are not complete enough to
Tenenbein M. Toxicity of Diethyltoluamide-Containing Insect Repellents-Reply. JAMA. 1988;259(15):2239–2240. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720150021023
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