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Sawyer Permethrin (anti-mosquito clothing treatment)

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  • John Ladd
    Just returned from Alaska watching brown bears feast on spawning salmon at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park. Lots of people miserable and/or wearing
    Message 1 of 20 , Jul 23, 2013
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      Just returned from Alaska watching brown bears feast on spawning salmon at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park. Lots of people miserable and/or wearing headnets. 

      My wife and I had permethrin treated head-to-toe clothing -- including socks, thin gloves, a Buff (neck gaiter) for me or a scarf for her, hats, etc and just a very little DEET and were bite-free for many hours in very heavy mosquitoes.

      I really, really recommend the stuff if you are hiking in July or August (at least early August). I use it as a soak-in product, but have no reason to think the spray-on wouldn't work equally well (though you do need a LOT of it and it is not cheap)

      http://www.rei.com/product/768970/sawyer-permethrin-pump-spray-24-oz
       
      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      415-648-9279
    • Christi McGinley
      It s been a while since I ve added anything to the conversation here but I thought I needed to chime in on the permethrin topic. My husband and I hiked the
      Message 2 of 20 , Jul 23, 2013
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        It's been a while since I've added anything to the conversation here but I thought I needed to chime in on the permethrin topic.  My husband and I hiked the JMT in August 2011. I sprayed my pants with permethrin thinking the mosquitoes would be really unbearable - Turned out they weren't but I guess that's a personal opinion and others may not have felt that way. 

        At the permit office the morning we left, the ranger asked if we'd used permethrin on our clothing.  I told him I had.  He said that use of this product could be contributing to the frog population decline among other problems and that I should avoid getting my clothes that were treated with it in the water.  So I did my best for the 18 days we were on the trail to keep them dry and away from water sources. 

        I realize it may be a really good mosquito repellant but it is worth taking a moment to consider the effect of that decision on the environment.  I didn't/haven't researched the ranger's assertion but we should all consider limiting or eliminating the contaminants we bring to the trail, including soaps, toothpaste, sunscreen, and all the rest.  Sure, one person's chemicals may not be a big problem but consider the hundred (thousands) who visit this area and the environmental impact of our decisions.  It seems a small inconvenience to forgo the chemicals for the brief time we're out there.




        On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
         

        Just returned from Alaska watching brown bears feast on spawning salmon at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park. Lots of people miserable and/or wearing headnets. 

        My wife and I had permethrin treated head-to-toe clothing -- including socks, thin gloves, a Buff (neck gaiter) for me or a scarf for her, hats, etc and just a very little DEET and were bite-free for many hours in very heavy mosquitoes.

        I really, really recommend the stuff if you are hiking in July or August (at least early August). I use it as a soak-in product, but have no reason to think the spray-on wouldn't work equally well (though you do need a LOT of it and it is not cheap)

        http://www.rei.com/product/768970/sawyer-permethrin-pump-spray-24-oz
         
        John Curran Ladd
        1616 Castro Street
        San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
        415-648-9279


      • John Ladd
        I agree with Christi s ranger. I avoid any clothes washwater reentry into streams. I think the impact on frogs is still unknown, but the MSDS (Material Safety
        Message 3 of 20 , Jul 23, 2013
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          I agree with Christi's ranger. I avoid any clothes washwater reentry into streams. I think the impact on frogs is still unknown, but the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on permethrin (see point 12) warns of toxicity to fish


          But I assume, like most things, the dose is the poison and the dose should be low if used with care

          Using permethrin on clothing tends to diminish use of DEET on people, which can be an offsetting factor.

          John Curran Ladd
          1616 Castro Street
          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
          415-648-9279


          On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 11:12 PM, Christi McGinley <christimcginley@...> wrote:
           

          It's been a while since I've added anything to the conversation here but I thought I needed to chime in on the permethrin topic.  My husband and I hiked the JMT in August 2011. I sprayed my pants with permethrin thinking the mosquitoes would be really unbearable - Turned out they weren't but I guess that's a personal opinion and others may not have felt that way. 

          At the permit office the morning we left, the ranger asked if we'd used permethrin on our clothing.  I told him I had.  He said that use of this product could be contributing to the frog population decline among other problems and that I should avoid getting my clothes that were treated with it in the water.  So I did my best for the 18 days we were on the trail to keep them dry and away from water sources. 


        • Allen C
          According to this recent review/comparison of bug repellents from the Environmental Working Group, Permethrin is more toxic than Deet and should be avoided if
          Message 4 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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            According to this recent review/comparison of bug repellents from the Environmental Working Group, Permethrin is more toxic than Deet and should be avoided if possible. Deet is effective in concentrations of 10-30% (20-30% for all day use) and may actually be a good option when you weight the risks/benefits and effectiveness of the other options that are available.

            http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-guide-bug-repellents

            From the FAQ:
            "Q. When should I consider repellent clothing?
            Permethrin is the only chemical repellent registered for use on clothing, shoes, nets and camping gear. It is more toxic than repellents approved for direct skin application. Permethrin repels mosquitoes, ticks, and pre-treated products are designed to withstand multiple uses and washing cycles. These products should be limited to extreme situations where bugs are thick or disease risks are high. As a precaution do not launder these clothes with other clothing. Store in sealed containers out of the reach of children."

            in 2011 we used Permethrin on our clothing, but my GF seemed to be systemically sensitive to it so we will not be using it again. Ultrathon with 30% deet works really well especially if you cover up most of your skin with tightly woven nylon clothing and use it only on the few remaining exposed areas. And if you can do your trip later in the season you may not need any repellent at all...

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
            >
            > I agree with Christi's ranger. I avoid any clothes washwater reentry into
            > streams. I think the impact on frogs is still unknown, but the MSDS
            > (Material Safety Data Sheet) on permethrin (see point 12) warns of toxicity
            > to fish
            >
            > http://www.cdms.net/ldat/mp7GD012.pdf
            >
            > But I assume, like most things, the dose is the poison and the dose should
            > be low if used with care
            >
            > Using permethrin on clothing tends to diminish use of DEET on people, which
            > can be an offsetting factor.
            >
            > John Curran Ladd
            > 1616 Castro Street
            > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
            > 415-648-9279
            >
            >
            > On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 11:12 PM, Christi McGinley <
            > christimcginley@...> wrote:
            >
            > > **
            > >
            > >
            > > It's been a while since I've added anything to the conversation here but I
            > > thought I needed to chime in on the permethrin topic. My husband and I
            > > hiked the JMT in August 2011. I sprayed my pants with permethrin thinking
            > > the mosquitoes would be really unbearable - Turned out they weren't but I
            > > guess that's a personal opinion and others may not have felt that way.
            > >
            > > At the permit office the morning we left, the ranger asked if we'd used
            > > permethrin on our clothing. I told him I had. He said that use of this
            > > product could be contributing to the frog population decline among other
            > > problems and that I should avoid getting my clothes that were treated with
            > > it in the water. So I did my best for the 18 days we were on the trail to
            > > keep them dry and away from water sources.
            > >
            > >
            >
          • John Ladd
            ... I read this to be a reason that permethrin is used on clothing, rather than directly applied to the skin. In terms of toxic-to-you you can use a more toxic
            Message 5 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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              On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM, Allen C <acurrano@...> wrote:

              "Q. When should I consider repellent clothing?
              Permethrin is the only chemical repellent registered for use on clothing, shoes, nets and camping gear. It is more toxic than repellents approved for direct skin application.


              I read this to be a reason that permethrin is used on clothing, rather than directly applied to the skin. 

              In terms of toxic-to-you you can use a more toxic material, but expose your clothes to it rather than directly apply it to your skin, or use a less toxic material directly on the skin. So more toxic but less direct contact. This may be a reason to treat outer clothes but not inner ones like baselayer.

              But I do agree that the Environmental Working Group doesn't seem to like the stuff.

              John Curran Ladd
              1616 Castro Street
              San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
              415-648-9279
            • Herb
              I, too agree with Christi. Permethrin, repellants, suntan lotion, soap, etc., all introduce chemicals not normally found in a wilderness environment. We hikers
              Message 6 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                I, too agree with Christi. Permethrin, repellants, suntan lotion, soap, etc., all introduce chemicals not normally found in a wilderness environment. We hikers need to be cognizant of that fact and minimize what we release into the environment. Use these products sparingly or not at all. Never expose clothing treated with perethrin to water sources. Clothes can be rinsed away from creeks and lakes with a large zip lock bag or a bear can. If you swim, rinse off lotion and repellant before going in.

                Herb

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Christi McGinley <christimcginley@...> wrote:
                >
                > It's been a while since I've added anything to the conversation here but I
                > thought I needed to chime in on the permethrin topic. My husband and I
                > hiked the JMT in August 2011. I sprayed my pants with permethrin thinking
                > the mosquitoes would be really unbearable - Turned out they weren't but I
                > guess that's a personal opinion and others may not have felt that way.
                >
                > At the permit office the morning we left, the ranger asked if we'd used
                > permethrin on our clothing. I told him I had. He said that use of this
                > product could be contributing to the frog population decline among other
                > problems and that I should avoid getting my clothes that were treated with
                > it in the water. So I did my best for the 18 days we were on the trail to
                > keep them dry and away from water sources.
                >
                > I realize it may be a really good mosquito repellant but it is worth taking
                > a moment to consider the effect of that decision on the environment. I
                > didn't/haven't researched the ranger's assertion but we should all consider
                > limiting or eliminating the contaminants we bring to the trail, including
                > soaps, toothpaste, sunscreen, and all the rest. Sure, one person's
                > chemicals may not be a big problem but consider the hundred (thousands) who
                > visit this area and the environmental impact of our decisions. It seems a
                > small inconvenience to forgo the chemicals for the brief time we're out
                > there.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                >
                > > **
                > >
                > >
                > > Just returned from Alaska watching brown bears feast on spawning salmon at
                > > Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park. Lots of people miserable and/or
                > > wearing headnets.
                > >
                > > My wife and I had permethrin treated head-to-toe clothing -- including
                > > socks, thin gloves, a Buff (neck gaiter) for me or a scarf for her, hats,
                > > etc and just a very little DEET and were bite-free for many hours in very
                > > heavy mosquitoes.
                > >
                > > I really, really recommend the stuff if you are hiking in July or August
                > > (at least early August). I use it as a soak-in product, but have no reason
                > > to think the spray-on wouldn't work equally well (though you do need a LOT
                > > of it and it is not cheap)
                > >
                > > http://www.rei.com/product/768970/sawyer-permethrin-pump-spray-24-oz
                > >
                > > John Curran Ladd
                > > 1616 Castro Street
                > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                > > 415-648-9279
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • marian21cohen
                Soà we re starting on the trail SOBO on Jul 30, planning to exit on Aug 21. To Permethrin or not to Permethrin , that is the question. We have head nets and
                Message 7 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                  So… we're starting on the trail SOBO on Jul 30, planning to exit on Aug 21. 'To Permethrin or not to Permethrin', that is the question. We have head nets and will be wearing trekking pole gloves, long-sleeved shirts and pants, (socks, obviously!) and boots.

                  An additional concern about Permethrin treatment is that for most of the day, we'll be wearing our shirts right next to our bodies, with no base layer between skin and shirt. When our shirts get wet with sweat, and are pressed against our body, will our skin be absorbing the Permethrin?

                  John and others, for our particular dates and this particular season, do you think we will regret *not* treating our clothes?

                  We're planning to take a small amount of Deet, anyway, just in case - although, again, would much rather not use it. And I'm confused as to whether we should we take 98% Deet which they sell at REI or 30% Deet?

                  We leave for Yosemite on Friday, so have to make these decisions soon. All input would be greatly appreciated!

                  Marian and Steve

                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM, Allen C <acurrano@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > "Q. When should I consider repellent clothing?
                  > > Permethrin is the only chemical repellent registered for use on clothing,
                  > > shoes, nets and camping gear. It is more toxic than repellents approved for
                  > > direct skin application.
                  > >
                  >
                  > I read this to be a reason that permethrin is used on clothing, rather than
                  > directly applied to the skin.
                  >
                  > In terms of toxic-to-you you can use a more toxic material, but expose your
                  > clothes to it rather than directly apply it to your skin, or use a less
                  > toxic material directly on the skin. So more toxic but less direct contact.
                  > This may be a reason to treat outer clothes but not inner ones like
                  > baselayer.
                  >
                  > But I do agree that the Environmental Working Group doesn't seem to like
                  > the stuff.
                  >
                  > John Curran Ladd
                  > 1616 Castro Street
                  > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                  > 415-648-9279
                  >
                • John Ladd
                  ... I would treat in your situation because you are likely to be at the height of the season for at least parts of the trail. But I sympathize with people who
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                    On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:01 AM, marian21cohen <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                    John and others, for our particular dates and this particular season, do you think we will regret *not* treating our clothes?

                    I would treat in your situation because you are likely to be at the height of the season for at least parts of the trail. But I sympathize with people who find the decision hard on ecological grounds. 

                    I think the personal health issue is less compelling even on the no-baselayer point you make. Dose does make a difference and most toxicology concerns are more appropriate at high doses. Army personnel in tropical areas wear permethrin-treated clothes, using a kind of permethrin that is 100 times more concentrated than Sawyer, for many months at a time. You'd be using it only for the one trip. I find DEET a larger concern than the clothing treatment because DEET goes directly on my skin while presumably somewhat limited amounts of permethrin that bleed off with sweat (it is good for 6 laundry washes or 6 weeks so the stuff presumably off-gasses more than it water leaches)

                    On the other hand, careful campsite choice and avoiding stops near streams can go a long way to avoiding skeeters without any form of treatment.

                    I'm also not disputing that some people may have an individual reaction to the stuff. Just saying that for me, I'd use it in your circumstance. Others will differ legitimately

                    John Curran Ladd
                    1616 Castro Street
                    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                    415-648-9279
                  • robert shattuck
                    I d go without. For one you re understandably concerned. Two, just in my personal experience, the right clothing and a little bit of feet or some other such
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                      I'd go without. For one you're understandably concerned. Two, just in my personal experience, the right clothing and a little bit of feet or some other such store bought repellant should suffice. 

                      I go in August and rarely do I bother to put anything on and I'm always fine. 

                      No need to lather yourself up ... But this is just one opinion and my experience. 

                      Stay away from the premetherin. 

                      Bob 

                      Sent from my iPhone

                      On Jul 24, 2013, at 10:03 AM, "marian21cohen" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                       



                      So… we're starting on the trail SOBO on Jul 30, planning to exit on Aug 21. 'To Permethrin or not to Permethrin', that is the question. We have head nets and will be wearing trekking pole gloves, long-sleeved shirts and pants, (socks, obviously!) and boots.

                      An additional concern about Permethrin treatment is that for most of the day, we'll be wearing our shirts right next to our bodies, with no base layer between skin and shirt. When our shirts get wet with sweat, and are pressed against our body, will our skin be absorbing the Permethrin?

                      John and others, for our particular dates and this particular season, do you think we will regret *not* treating our clothes?

                      We're planning to take a small amount of Deet, anyway, just in case - although, again, would much rather not use it. And I'm confused as to whether we should we take 98% Deet which they sell at REI or 30% Deet?

                      We leave for Yosemite on Friday, so have to make these decisions soon. All input would be greatly appreciated!

                      Marian and Steve

                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM, Allen C <acurrano@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > "Q. When should I consider repellent clothing?
                      > > Permethrin is the only chemical repellent registered for use on clothing,
                      > > shoes, nets and camping gear. It is more toxic than repellents approved for
                      > > direct skin application.
                      > >
                      >
                      > I read this to be a reason that permethrin is used on clothing, rather than
                      > directly applied to the skin.
                      >
                      > In terms of toxic-to-you you can use a more toxic material, but expose your
                      > clothes to it rather than directly apply it to your skin, or use a less
                      > toxic material directly on the skin. So more toxic but less direct contact.
                      > This may be a reason to treat outer clothes but not inner ones like
                      > baselayer.
                      >
                      > But I do agree that the Environmental Working Group doesn't seem to like
                      > the stuff.
                      >
                      > John Curran Ladd
                      > 1616 Castro Street
                      > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                      > 415-648-9279
                      >

                    • robert shattuck
                      ... And as for slathering yourself with all sorts if stuff, bug juice, sunscreen--you probably know this but you re going to be sweating a lot---do not apply
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                        ... And as for slathering yourself with all sorts if stuff, bug juice, sunscreen--you probably know this but you're going to be sweating a lot---do not apply anything to your forehead--I find that you end up with just a stream of whatever getting into your eyes, which is just not fun. 

                        Bob

                        Sent from my iPhone

                        On Jul 24, 2013, at 10:03 AM, "marian21cohen" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                         



                        So… we're starting on the trail SOBO on Jul 30, planning to exit on Aug 21. 'To Permethrin or not to Permethrin', that is the question. We have head nets and will be wearing trekking pole gloves, long-sleeved shirts and pants, (socks, obviously!) and boots.

                        An additional concern about Permethrin treatment is that for most of the day, we'll be wearing our shirts right next to our bodies, with no base layer between skin and shirt. When our shirts get wet with sweat, and are pressed against our body, will our skin be absorbing the Permethrin?

                        John and others, for our particular dates and this particular season, do you think we will regret *not* treating our clothes?

                        We're planning to take a small amount of Deet, anyway, just in case - although, again, would much rather not use it. And I'm confused as to whether we should we take 98% Deet which they sell at REI or 30% Deet?

                        We leave for Yosemite on Friday, so have to make these decisions soon. All input would be greatly appreciated!

                        Marian and Steve

                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM, Allen C <acurrano@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > "Q. When should I consider repellent clothing?
                        > > Permethrin is the only chemical repellent registered for use on clothing,
                        > > shoes, nets and camping gear. It is more toxic than repellents approved for
                        > > direct skin application.
                        > >
                        >
                        > I read this to be a reason that permethrin is used on clothing, rather than
                        > directly applied to the skin.
                        >
                        > In terms of toxic-to-you you can use a more toxic material, but expose your
                        > clothes to it rather than directly apply it to your skin, or use a less
                        > toxic material directly on the skin. So more toxic but less direct contact.
                        > This may be a reason to treat outer clothes but not inner ones like
                        > baselayer.
                        >
                        > But I do agree that the Environmental Working Group doesn't seem to like
                        > the stuff.
                        >
                        > John Curran Ladd
                        > 1616 Castro Street
                        > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                        > 415-648-9279
                        >

                      • Barbara Karagosian
                        I ve used Permethrin each year. I prefer to soak versus spray my clothes. If I spray, I use a mask to prevent inhalation. There s no smell and I haven t
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                          I've used Permethrin each year. I prefer to soak versus spray my clothes. If I spray, I use a mask to prevent inhalation. There's no smell and I haven't noticed any skin irritation. Much better than Deet on the skin directly. 



                          On Jul 24, 2013, at 10:25 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:

                           

                          On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:01 AM, marian21cohen <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                          John and others, for our particular dates and this particular season, do you think we will regret *not* treating our clothes?

                          I would treat in your situation because you are likely to be at the height of the season for at least parts of the trail. But I sympathize with people who find the decision hard on ecological grounds. 

                          I think the personal health issue is less compelling even on the no-baselayer point you make. Dose does make a difference and most toxicology concerns are more appropriate at high doses. Army personnel in tropical areas wear permethrin-treated clothes, using a kind of permethrin that is 100 times more concentrated than Sawyer, for many months at a time. You'd be using it only for the one trip. I find DEET a larger concern than the clothing treatment because DEET goes directly on my skin while presumably somewhat limited amounts of permethrin that bleed off with sweat (it is good for 6 laundry washes or 6 weeks so the stuff presumably off-gasses more than it water leaches)

                          On the other hand, careful campsite choice and avoiding stops near streams can go a long way to avoiding skeeters without any form of treatment.

                          I'm also not disputing that some people may have an individual reaction to the stuff. Just saying that for me, I'd use it in your circumstance. Others will differ legitimately

                          John Curran Ladd
                          1616 Castro Street
                          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                          415-648-9279

                        • Herb
                          My suggestion is, go without permethrin treatment. Around camp, physical barriers are effective against mosquitoes. If they are bad, I throw on my rain jacket
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                            My suggestion is, go without permethrin treatment. Around camp, physical barriers are effective against mosquitoes. If they are bad, I throw on my rain jacket and if necessary rain pants. Cover any exposed areas with bandana, gloves, and hat. A head net will keep them out of your face. Careful camp site selection can significantly minimize or eliminate the problem.

                            During the day one cannot stay totally covered up, but bad mosquitoes along the trail are generally site-specific--meadows, slow flowing creeks, brushy areas. A bit of repellant and just keep moving in those sections is a viable strategy.

                            Personally, I think permethrin is best justified in areas with high tick activity. I don't begrudge anyone from using it, but I do suggest considering solutions with less impact on the environment first.

                            Herb

                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, marian21cohen <no_reply@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > So… we're starting on the trail SOBO on Jul 30, planning to exit on Aug 21. 'To Permethrin or not to Permethrin', that is the question. We have head nets and will be wearing trekking pole gloves, long-sleeved shirts and pants, (socks, obviously!) and boots.
                            >
                            > An additional concern about Permethrin treatment is that for most of the day, we'll be wearing our shirts right next to our bodies, with no base layer between skin and shirt. When our shirts get wet with sweat, and are pressed against our body, will our skin be absorbing the Permethrin?
                            >
                            > John and others, for our particular dates and this particular season, do you think we will regret *not* treating our clothes?
                            >
                            > We're planning to take a small amount of Deet, anyway, just in case - although, again, would much rather not use it. And I'm confused as to whether we should we take 98% Deet which they sell at REI or 30% Deet?
                            >
                            > We leave for Yosemite on Friday, so have to make these decisions soon. All input would be greatly appreciated!
                            >
                            > Marian and Steve
                            >
                            > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM, Allen C <acurrano@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > > "Q. When should I consider repellent clothing?
                            > > > Permethrin is the only chemical repellent registered for use on clothing,
                            > > > shoes, nets and camping gear. It is more toxic than repellents approved for
                            > > > direct skin application.
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > > I read this to be a reason that permethrin is used on clothing, rather than
                            > > directly applied to the skin.
                            > >
                            > > In terms of toxic-to-you you can use a more toxic material, but expose your
                            > > clothes to it rather than directly apply it to your skin, or use a less
                            > > toxic material directly on the skin. So more toxic but less direct contact.
                            > > This may be a reason to treat outer clothes but not inner ones like
                            > > baselayer.
                            > >
                            > > But I do agree that the Environmental Working Group doesn't seem to like
                            > > the stuff.
                            > >
                            > > John Curran Ladd
                            > > 1616 Castro Street
                            > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                            > > 415-648-9279
                            > >
                            >
                          • pbakwin
                            We re heading out on the JMT (NoBo) & SHR starting 7/27. So, what is the current mosquito report in these areas? We ve tended to go later in the season
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                              We're heading out on the JMT (NoBo) & SHR starting 7/27. So, what is the current mosquito report in these areas? We've tended to go later in the season (mid-late Aug) & generally had very few bugs. This year is supposed to be pretty dry. ?
                            • billjbill29
                              I used the spray a couple weeks age prior to a hike. There were few mosquitoes and none seemed to want to land on the clothing. I d like to see how the
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                                I used the spray a couple weeks age prior to a hike. There were few mosquitoes and none seemed to want to land on the clothing. I'd like to see how the treatment performs in concentrated areas of mosquitoes. Other bugs didn't seem to mind the permethrin and could be found crawling on my clothing.

                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Just returned from Alaska watching brown bears feast on spawning salmon at
                                > Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park. Lots of people miserable and/or
                                > wearing headnets.
                                >
                                > My wife and I had permethrin treated head-to-toe clothing -- including
                                > socks, thin gloves, a Buff (neck gaiter) for me or a scarf for her, hats,
                                > etc and just a very little DEET and were bite-free for many hours in very
                                > heavy mosquitoes.
                                >
                                > I really, really recommend the stuff if you are hiking in July or August
                                > (at least early August). I use it as a soak-in product, but have no reason
                                > to think the spray-on wouldn't work equally well (though you do need a LOT
                                > of it and it is not cheap)
                                >
                                > http://www.rei.com/product/768970/sawyer-permethrin-pump-spray-24-oz
                                >
                                > John Curran Ladd
                                > 1616 Castro Street
                                > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                                > 415-648-9279
                                >
                              • sriprank
                                I m sorry but to me it is just unbelievable to me) that the Moderators of a Group for the JMT actually PROMOTES the use of Permethrin (a neuro-toxin) for use
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                                  I'm sorry but to me it is just unbelievable to me) that the Moderators of a Group for the JMT actually PROMOTES the use of Permethrin (a neuro-toxin) for use in a Wilderness. Perhaps you all do the right things personally as far as washing your clothing etc but this stuff is water soluble and ends up somewhere. And that isn't looking at the reality that some Backpackers are lazy and would just as soon wash their Permethrin soaked clothing in a Lake or stream. I'm been biting my tongue but my feeling is that you might as well leave your Backpacks at home and strap on a tank of DDT. Doesn't the fact that you need a mask to apply it tell you something.

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I've used Permethrin each year. I prefer to soak versus spray my clothes. If I spray, I use a mask to prevent inhalation. There's no smell and I haven't noticed any skin irritation. Much better than Deet on the skin directly.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > On Jul 24, 2013, at 10:25 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:01 AM, marian21cohen <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                  > > John and others, for our particular dates and this particular season, do you think we will regret *not* treating our clothes?
                                  > >
                                  > > I would treat in your situation because you are likely to be at the height of the season for at least parts of the trail. But I sympathize with people who find the decision hard on ecological grounds.
                                  > >
                                  > > I think the personal health issue is less compelling even on the no-baselayer point you make. Dose does make a difference and most toxicology concerns are more appropriate at high doses. Army personnel in tropical areas wear permethrin-treated clothes, using a kind of permethrin that is 100 times more concentrated than Sawyer, for many months at a time. You'd be using it only for the one trip. I find DEET a larger concern than the clothing treatment because DEET goes directly on my skin while presumably somewhat limited amounts of permethrin that bleed off with sweat (it is good for 6 laundry washes or 6 weeks so the stuff presumably off-gasses more than it water leaches)
                                  > >
                                  > > On the other hand, careful campsite choice and avoiding stops near streams can go a long way to avoiding skeeters without any form of treatment.
                                  > >
                                  > > I'm also not disputing that some people may have an individual reaction to the stuff. Just saying that for me, I'd use it in your circumstance. Others will differ legitimately
                                  > >
                                  > > John Curran Ladd
                                  > > 1616 Castro Street
                                  > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                                  > > 415-648-9279
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • John Ladd
                                  ... Our trip to Brooks Camp in Alaska was a pretty intense test (noted in the post that started this thread). Worse there than you d likely see on JMT. We had
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                                    On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 2:01 PM, billjbill29 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                    I'd like to see how the treatment performs in concentrated areas of mosquitoes.

                                    Our trip to Brooks Camp in Alaska was a pretty intense test (noted in the post that started this thread). Worse there than you'd likely see on JMT. We had no bites despite many hours at the falls. Definitely none through clothes. Even with my face exposed, skeeters were usually repelled by the permethrin on my hat and neck gaiter. (I used DEET only when they were particularly bad)


                                    John Curran Ladd
                                    1616 Castro Street
                                    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                    415-648-9279
                                  • John Ladd
                                    ... If I believed what you do, I wouldn t. From what I know about permethrin at the concentrations likely to be the result of backpacker use (even if some
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                                      On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 4:33 PM, sriprank <sriprank@...> wrote:
                                      it is just unbelievable to me) that the Moderators of a Group for the JMT actually PROMOTES the use of Permethrin (a neuro-toxin) for use in a Wilderness.

                                      If I believed what you do, I wouldn't.  From what I know about permethrin at the concentrations likely to be the result of backpacker use (even if some wash clothes in streams) I think it is not a big issue. I admit I could be wrong, but I'm entitled to have my own views on toxicology, having spent a fairly large part of my working career in litigation about various toxins (from both sides of the issue, sometimes "for" and sometimes "against" the toxin of interest).  

                                      I think we have too much of a tendency to put things in category SAFE or TOXIC without realizing that there are infinite gradations between these extremes. I wouldn't drink the stuff or rub it on my baby or pour it in a stream. I think its use on clothes intended for the backcountry is acceptable and regulatory authorities including the EPA appear to agree as there is, to my knowledge, no even proposed restriction on use of permethrin on clothing, though direct air spraying near water is regulated.  See the EPA evaluation of incidents with very heavy exposures (e.g. things like 100 gallons entering a watercourse)


                                      I suspect the proceedings on Sierra frog habitat may end up addressing this issue. If it was as bad as some think, I suspect we'd see it banned and if so I wouldn't use it. (Indeed, I wouldn't use it when such restrictions were proposed if there was science to support a ban, but I have not seen it yet)

                                      Sorry, long winded response. Just invoking a right of defense. I'm fine with people disagreeing with me on board. And I DO try to avoid advocating anything that I consider unethical (or illegal). But I also have a right to an opinion, even if my reading of the evidence isn't as ecological as someone else's. I just don't see the evidence that permethrin clothing treatment rises to the level of unethical wilderness use. 

                                      But I DO agree ecological risk is worth thinking about and that if you are willing to sacrifice your comfort to avoid any POSSIBLE ecological hazard, and expose yourself to DEET -- which might be a hazard to yourself -- that's fine with me. Your choice. (I think concern about permethrin exposure to humans using it is a way less significant concern than the ecological one - with DEET it is probably the other way around since mamalian toxicity of permethrin is so low). 

                                      Or avoid use of both by careful campsite selection, often a very good strategy.

                                      John Curran Ladd
                                      1616 Castro Street
                                      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                      415-648-9279
                                    • Christi McGinley
                                      For my final $0.02, I really think that permethrin is unwarranted on the JMT and smart clothing choices is the best option to guard oneself against those nasty
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                                        For my final $0.02, I really think that permethrin is unwarranted on the JMT and smart clothing choices is the best option to guard oneself against those nasty mosquitoes.  We used Ultrathon, which has DEET, for topical application but I found that the biting flies couldn't care less about it any way, and the areas where the mosquitoes were heaviest, we were well covered in clothing and a head net so no chemicals were needed.  In the evening when we stopped to make camp was the worst time for the mozzies to attack so we just put on our loose shirts and pants, and tucked into the bed early, which wasn't an issue because we were usually beat by that time any way.

                                        The most difficult part of the trail for me was NOT mosquitoes.  What was hard was the mileage, the food, the climbs, but not the mosquitoes.

                                        Therefore, if you think you're tough enough to hike the JMT you're tough enough to hike it "commando"...or at lease without chemicals. ;-)
                                      • Alex Cheng
                                        I have to say that I completely agree with Christi and Sriprank .  If you put on a long sleeve shirt, long pants and a mosquito hat, you ll prevent 99% of
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jul 24, 2013
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                                          I have to say that I completely agree with Christi and 'Sriprank'.  If you put on a long sleeve shirt, long pants and a mosquito hat, you'll prevent 99% of the bites.  And a few bites from the JMT mozzies won't kill you.  It's not like we have mosquitos that will infect you with dengue fever or malaria around here...  Now if you're hiking in the tropics, that's a different story.


                                          From: Christi McGinley <christimcginley@...>
                                          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                          Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:00 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Sawyer Permethrin (anti-mosquito clothing treatment)

                                           
                                          For my final $0.02, I really think that permethrin is unwarranted on the JMT and smart clothing choices is the best option to guard oneself against those nasty mosquitoes.  We used Ultrathon, which has DEET, for topical application but I found that the biting flies couldn't care less about it any way, and the areas where the mosquitoes were heaviest, we were well covered in clothing and a head net so no chemicals were needed.  In the evening when we stopped to make camp was the worst time for the mozzies to attack so we just put on our loose shirts and pants, and tucked into the bed early, which wasn't an issue because we were usually beat by that time any way.

                                          The most difficult part of the trail for me was NOT mosquitoes.  What was hard was the mileage, the food, the climbs, but not the mosquitoes.

                                          Therefore, if you think you're tough enough to hike the JMT you're tough enough to hike it "commando"...or at lease without chemicals. ;-)


                                        • John Ladd
                                          This was a long and good thread on the permethrin safety and responsible use. In order to keep this thread complete, here s a link to a companion thread on
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jul 31, 2013
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                                            This was a long and good thread on the permethrin safety and responsible use. In order to keep this thread complete, here's a link to a companion thread on permethrin and frogs, including evidence that permethrin was not among the chemicals found in frog tissue when studied recently (many agricultural chemicals were found in tissue of Sierra frogs)

                                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnmuirtrail/message/33443

                                            If you've been following this discussion as it evolved, you can ignore the link. But if you are coming to this thread via an internet search, I recommend both this message thread and the linked one.

                                            John Curran Ladd
                                            1616 Castro Street
                                            San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                            415-648-9279


                                            On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                            > Just returned from Alaska watching brown bears feast on spawning salmon at
                                            > Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park. Lots of people miserable and/or wearing
                                            > headnets. ...
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