Volume 103, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) is one of the most commonly used insect repellants in the United States, yet the existing literature regarding DEET’s potential deleterious impact on humans is mixed and is based mostly on case reports. The primary aim of this study was to address this lack of population-based evidence of the effects of DEET exposure on human health in the United States. Our primary outcome measures were biomarkers related to systemic inflammation (high sensitivity C-reactive protein), immune function (lymphocyte), liver function (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and γ-glutamyl transferace), and kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate). We analyzed data from the population-based National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2015–2016, and identified 1,205 patients (age 20+ years) who had DEET metabolite levels recorded at or above detection limits. A Pearson correlation was used to assess the relationship between DEET metabolite, and each biomarker found there was no significant correlation. Thus, there is no evidence that DEET exposure has any impact on the biomarkers identified.


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  • Received : 30 Mar 2020
  • Accepted : 29 Apr 2020
  • Published online : 26 May 2020
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