Stop the bite

With the 2016 Olympic Games in full swing, and with the recent Zikaepidemic spreading like wildfire, one Valley of the Sun clothing designer has come up with what, to her, is the obvious solution: a line of athletic clothing with insect repellent infused in the garments.Having been bitten by an insect and contracting a debilitating case of Lyme disease, designer and entrepreneur Sharane Dorrah knew something had to be done. A line of clothing from Pesky's that actually repels the insects that carry the dangerous diseases made perfect sense. According to the Pesky's website, the repellant“has been tested, proven, and EPA registered and repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, fleas, chiggers, flies, and midges (otherwise known as no-see-ums).”

Is it safe?

According to Dorrah, “the active ingredient is permethrin.

Permethrin-treated clothing is recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization) as an important and safe insect repellent. The proprietary application process used on the garments binds the treatment so tightly to the fabric that it lasts 70 washes (the life of the Garment) which is longer than most performance fabric treatments.” Is it dangerous to humans? According to Wikipedia, “permethrin has little systemic absorption, and is considered safe for topical use in adults and children over the age of 2 months.” Not only is it odorless, the treatment is not actually on your skin, it is on the outside of the garment. It is invisibleand looks and performs like top-quality athletic gear.

The garments are safe enough for pregnant women and infants.

Is it available?

Pesky’s has a women’s line available for sale now, and both a men’s and children’s lines in the works. While no cases of Zika have been reported yet at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, it seems obvious that athletic garments treated with repellent and yet safe to the athletes wearing them would be a tremendous advantage in the fight against illnesses in areas with high rates of airborne disease.

Even here in Arizona, which few associate with water or - therefore - mosquitoes, has seen several cases of Zika this year from infected mosquitoes around lakes and unkempt swimming pools.

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