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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Buzz Off Clothes

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Author Topic: Buzz Off Clothes
tdtid
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A friend just casually mentioned "Buzz Off Clothes" to me when talking about what they wear anytime they are near the woods.

You would think that after a year of knowing I have lyme disease, I would have known what she was talking about.

I'm aware of Deet and even sprays we can put on our clothes that withstand several washings, but I had no clue about "Buzz Off clothes".

I did a search on the web and saw that many companies sell them.

Does anyone have comments first hand that have used them as to how they actually work from a lyme/tick perspective and anything else regarding this line of clothing for someone that is obviously living in the dark ages?

Thanks for any help.

Cathy

--------------------
"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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jblral
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Buzz Off is the brand name for a line of clothing treated with permethrin. You can also buy the stuff at places like REI, and treat your own clothes. I haven't done, but I understand that it's supposed to help repel ticks. You can spray the stuff on your hiking boots, which seems like it might be a good idea.
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Leonard
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I got a shirt last year for my Canada fishing trip. I think it helped with mosquitoes. after I was bitten by the tick Sept. 06, my kids gave me a pants for Christmas. I have worn them some.

Leonard

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cactus
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I use Buzz Off clothes when outside in tick infested areas now, too.

Lands End, REI, LL Bean - places like that sometimes carry them & market them as "insect repellant". Also, Ex-Officio sells them online. (I prefer to buy them on sale, in fact they just had a sale)... Hope it's ok to mention the actual stores, I can edit if necessary...

Have also used the permethrin spray to treat clothes, but it doesn't last as long and it's messy. You don't want to get the wet spray on your skin, just on your clothes/shoes. It has to be re-applied fairly often, while the Buzz Off clothes claim to retain the bug repellancy for something like 25 washings.

No problems with ticks while wearing the Buzz Off clothes, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm now so cautious or if it's because of the the clothes.

There are also "rhynoskin" (sp?) socks that are supposed to prevent ticks, too, I think because they are woven so tightly, if I remember correctly.

If you find anything else that works, it would be great to hear about it.

--------------------
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? - A.A. Milne

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lpkayak
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rhynoskin has whole outfits.

if the clothes are treated with permethrin be sure not to put deet on your skin when you wear them. the combo has had problems...

permethrins kill ticks from 6 inches away

any permethrin on your fishing stuff will repel and kill fish...be careful


there are some questions about permetrins causing neuro symptoms

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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tdtid
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Ok, I've found lots of companies that seem to sell this brand. Many are saying they are good up to 70 washes.

It definitely sounds intriguing to me, especially for those times when you know you will be hiking around in the woods with your dog.

Lpkayak, you said something about neuro symptoms. Are you discussing the spray or these clothes. Since I've had my share of those already, I surely don't want to add something that could trigger them any worse.

Thanks to everyone for your imput. I'm just surprised I wasn't even aware it existed and think I should try something article of clothing to see what I think. Any recommendations on which would be best to sample?

Also, is there any odor associated with these clothes?

Cathy

--------------------
"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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Keebler
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-
I hate to say "wait a minute" yet I have some concerns about this line of clothing.

I would want to know what happens when these clothes go into the washing machine and dryer. Will their chemicals come off onto other clothes in that load - or stay in the machine and then get onto other loads of clothes?

Will any steam from washer or heated air from dryer with these clothes put chemicals into our air supply ?

I would not want to wear any clothing next to my skin that had contact with this.

As OUTER WEAR that would not go into the washing machine, it might be helpful, but does the INSIDE of the treated garments carry the chemical that would rub off onto long johns or skin?

And, lastly, is this a biodegradable chemical? How safe are the workers where they mgf. these garments AND where does the left over chemical wash go? Is the local water way affected?

What happens down the line in people and in the environment with this? Are we going to drinking this stuff ? Will our children have it in their bloodstream and brains?

All these answers may be fine, but I sure would want to know first. It is a synthetic chemical, but that's all I could find in a quick look.

Infants and children's clothing (i.e. sleepwear) has been chemically treated for years with fire retardants. But I think that is a risk in many ways for the kids wearing it, the family using the washing machine, the workers in the mfg process and for people, fish, animals and plants sharing the water supply.

-

[ 31. October 2007, 02:16 AM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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-

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

PubMed search: permethrin

1702 abstracts in 86 pages

=======================

http://tinyurl.com/2mo85c From Treehugger.com

Catch a Buzzzzz: Insect Proof Clothing Off The Rack
03.31.05

excerpts:

Nearly all the famous name outdoor retailers are offering ``Buzz Off'' treated clothing this year: everything from pants to hat. The trademarked ``Buzz Off'' treated fabric offered . . .

The active ingredient in the "Buzz Off" treated fabric is permethrin, a synthetic version of the naturally occuring pyrethroids that are extracted from the East African pyrethrum flower, a chrysanthemum. . . .

Here are some health effect and precautionary statements from a permethrin material safety data sheet (MSDS), referring to a 1% (dilute) solution coming into direct skin contact.

``Mild skin irritation is possible by overexposure of skin''.
``Harmful if swallowed or absorbed through skin''.
``Wash thoroughly after handling''
``Remove and wash clothing after use''.

full article at link above

-

[ 31. October 2007, 02:15 AM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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tdtid
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Keebler,

I put the question out here, since when I FIRST heard about Buzz Off Clothing, I went in search and thought, "wow, I need to get some of this stuff".

Obviously my line of thought is that I need a better plan than the first time around so I don't get re infected. But since I hadn't recalled reading about it on these boards, it made me wonder, WHY?

If it was wonderful, wouldn't everyone be talking about it? So I started asking many of the same questions you have asked and thought this would be the perfect place to go to get the answers.

According to FAQ's that I had read before posting, they do say that you should wash these clothes separately and they were good for up to 70 washings.

BUT they obviously aren't going to tell us about the bad sides, if there are some, so was hoping someone knew something.

I know there has been talk about spraying our clothes with permetrins or using Deet, but there's always questions about the safety of that as well.

So, what is the solution to the best protection when hiking around in the woods? Yes, we can keep inspecting our bodies for ticks, but since I totally missed the first one that infected me, I'm looking for a back up plan.

Opinions? Facts? Anything?

Cathy

--------------------
"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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Keebler
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-

Cathy,

yeah, it's such a puzzle with serious consequences.
Tick-Be-Gone is not an easy find. Sorry if I blasted this and I apologize for over-think.

I've not read all the PubMed abstracts and would want to go through those, I suppose, to be clearer about the possible ramifications, especially neuro.

You might call your local Sierra Club chapter - or other hiking clubs - ask what their regular members say about this. Surely some have bought them by now.


Do you have your own washing machine? If so, perhaps when you wash these you could wash them separately, and run an empty load after that to avoid any of the stuff getting on your other clothes or those of family members.

I know that even the perfume from some laundry detergents can transfer to clothes that follow with unscented soaps, so my guess is chemicals could, too. One empty, soapy load should help.

Could you hang dry them, avoiding the dryer all together?

Can you buy them bigger to wear these as outer clothes and peel them off outside, storing them in a sturdy bag or plastic box for the next outing? If they are as outer clothes, they would not have to be washed as much.

My mind tends to take off with a few links and I had thought about this when I saw these in the catalogs. I also recall reading about the flame retardants now causing very serious trouble. Also we are learning so much more about endocrine disrupters from even the lotions we put on our hands, etc.
-

I wonder if some slick fabric like that used as a rain suit might work just as well without the chemical coating.

I'm thinking of a type a jogger might wear, light weight but probably synthetic rather than cotton so that it would be a very slick fabric - and tight weave. Some would be noisy, swooshy and maybe stiff.

I'd go fo the softer, quieter type.

Maybe someone will come along with some experience on this. Otherwise, I wonder if there would be a county extension person or someone with the local lyme group that might know.

LLBean, Lands End, REI might have some.

-
I've wondered if a sort of disposable velcro wide band could be developed to cover our sock and pant legs, wrists, neck, etc. so that any ticks would just be caught and not able to climb further. They do make sticky-backed velcro and in widths of several inches. don't know how well that would work or how cost effective. And that has a certain "ICK" factor. Who'd want to take these guys home?

-
Would the actual essential oil of chrysanthumum (sp?) work as well ? Oh, my. now I'll wonder about that for a while. Guess I'll just have to learn more.


Hey, in spite of unanswered questions, I hope you can enjoy the beautiful autumn and enjoy being one with nature.

-

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cactus
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The rhynoskin does not have any chemical component that I know of - that might be worth a look. Haven't tried it, but I hear it works. Maybe you could wear the socks and pull them up around your pant legs?

Also, you might consider essential oils - some people have had good luck with those - I think rose geranium, lily of the valley and cloves were fairly good for tick repellants.

If you opt for Buzz Off clothes, the label says to wash only with other Buzz Off clothes. I run another empty load afterward.

They aren't ideal, I have the same concerns as you - although my fear of ticks has won out for now.

The neuro symptoms sure are a concern though...

There have been several threads about this over the years - if you do a search for "buzz off" in general, they should come up.

One was called "how to deal with fear of ticks?" ...I think Wild Condor had some good ideas, but she was using Buzz Off along with other stuff, I think...

Hope you find something that works so you can feel safe and comfortable with your solution.

--------------------
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? - A.A. Milne

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sizzled
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I have tried the Buzz Off clothes.

The long-sleeve tops were too hot for me to wear in humid, warm weather but the pants were good.

The 'stuff' is suppose to last over a dozen washings or more.

You can do the same thing if you buy permethrin spray (Permanone), spray your clothes and then throw them in the dryer before wearing them.

I DO worry about the neurotoxic effects, especially since I sweat ALOT....Hmmm, but maybe sweating keeps the toxins 'washed' away?! [Razz]

I am a confirmed outdoor-person so I TRY doing all those things that have been stated to prevent tick bites.

My one concern is getting bitten on the head or neck area when I forget to wear a hat!

Buzz Off makes a permethrin-soaked bandana that seemed to work in keeping bugs away from my face.

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Keebler
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-
The rhynoskin web site is pretty cool.
-----------------------
-----------------------
from one article reviewing "Buzz Off":

excerpt: "Animal studies indicate that small amounts of permethrin may cause immunotoxicity, or corruption of the immune system."
---------------------------------------------------
from www.beyondpesticides.org

http://tinyurl.com/2n74cp

Daily News Archive
From September 14, 2006

Tell EPA to Provide Health Warnings on Pesticide-Impregnated Clothing

(Beyond Pesticides, September 14, 2006)

Buzz Off Insect Shield Insect Repellent clothing, a line of clothing that has been impregnated with the insecticide permethrin to ward against mosquitoes, is being sold in stores across the country without traditional pesticide labels that warn against possible exposure and contamination routes and provide first aid information.
. . .

Buzz Off states that its clothing is effective for 25 washings, and that the clothing should be washed separately. This indicates that the chemical comes off in water.

Research has shown that some permethrin from impregnated clothes comes off onto the skin, and a portion of that is absorbed into the body. If a person is sweating or swimming while wearing the clothing, more of the chemical will likely come off onto the skin.

The longer one wears the clothes, the more permethrin will be absorbed into the body. But the label does not caution against wearing the clothing while in water nor does it warn against prolonged exposure to the clothes.

Although the acute toxicity of permethrin is fairly low, there are some serious long-term health problems associated with this pesticide.

Permethrin is a possible carcinogen and a suspected endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors interfere with normal hormone function and can contribute to breast and testicular cancer, birth defects, learning disorders, and other problems.

Animal studies indicate that small amounts of permethrin may cause immunotoxicity, or corruption of the immune system.

Exposure to sunlight may worsen this response, according to the research of Virginia Tech Professor Steven D. Holladay, Ph.D., and colleagues.

Although Holladay's research is based on higher doses than that found in the clothing, he points out the need for studies that examine immunotoxicity at comparable doses to the clothing. "Nobody really knows at this point the risk that the clothes pose," he explained.

A major concern with this clothing is the potential for people to receive combined exposures to a mix of pesticides. The clothing label advises that people should use the clothing

"in conjunction with an insect repellent registered for direct application to skin," and at least one of the manufacturers suggests that the clothes be used specifically with DEET. According to EPA, approximately one-third of the U.S. population uses DEET every year.

Use of DEET in combination with permethrin likely facilitates enhanced dermal absorption of permethrin - meaning more permethrin could be absorbed into the bloodstream than EPA has taken into account.
. . .

Several studies done by a team of Duke University researchers lead by pharmacologist Mohammed Abou-Donia suggest that DEET in conjunction with permethrin-impregnated clothing may be linked to Gulf War Syndrome.

(See a review of the study) through link above -

According to Dr. Abou-Donia, there are three main problems with these clothes (and their inadequate labels):

1. Prolonged exposure to permethrin, combined exposure to permethrin and DEET, and increased sensitivity of certain segments of the population - particularly the elderly, pregnant women, and young children. He explained that even though the clothes might not pose that much risk to the average person, certain populations are more at risk.

2. Another danger that these clothes pose is that of environmental contamination. Although the label states that the clothing should not be stored or disposed of in water, it does not warn against washing or wearing the clothes in bodies of water, such as while swimming, camping, or washing in streams, lakes or other water bodies.

Permethrin is well known for its high toxicity to fish and other aquatic organisms, in notably small doses. A University of California Berkeley study also found that low doses of synthetic pyrethroids are accumulating in creek sediments in levels toxic to freshwater bottom dwellers, which could have an adverse affect on a water body's entire ecosystem.

3. Additionally, pesticide impregnated clothing is only one of permethrin's many registered uses. Permethrin is registered for use on/in numerous food/feed crops, livestock and livestock housing, modes of transportation, structures, buildings

(including food handling establishments), mosquito abatement programs, and numerous residential use sites including use in outdoor and indoor spaces, pets, and clothing (ready to use formulations in addition to impregnated).

Excerpts : (more at link about each statement)

1. EPA does not have adequate data to eliminate the 10X FQPA safety factor.


2. . EPA does not adequately take into account risks from permethrin-impregnated clothing.

3. EPA does not take into account the possible endocrine-disrupting effects of permethrin.

4. Synergistic effects between common pesticide exposure combinations must be considered

5. EPA fails to consider the health and ecological impacts of permethrin formulated with piperonyl butoxide (PBO).

6. Permethrin is highly toxic to bees and other beneficial insects

7. EPA does not adequately mitigate the effect of permethrin on asthmatics

more at link
------------------
My thought, too, is that if put in the dryer, not only would any clothes that follow get some on them, but the vapors from this could be really hard on our lungs and other organs.

-

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sizzled
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Keebler, thanks for the article(s).

Makes one stop and wonder what one can do to prevent insect bites!

I have heard about and used Rose Geranium oil, Bounce fabric softener sheets, Irish Spring soap,eucalyptus, cedar,garlic, herbal insect repellents.

I can't reliably say what worked and what didn't.

Didn't do a 'controlled-double-blind
study!

I do know it is in controlled amounts in animal sprays and thus, I am willing to use them the same way.

There is NO placebo affect in animals.

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Keebler
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-

I've seen the Bounce fabric softener sheets saying they work for everything. You still have the endocrine disruption from the fragrance, though, with the Bounce and the Irish Spring. There's been alot published lately about the synthetic scents & petroleum products - and how they screw up all our hormones. The research focuses mainly on what is called Phthalate Exposure.

This is not just for those who are sensitive to chemicals. The effects are there whether someone enjoys the scent or if they pass out from it.

Rachel's Friends is a group that is working to clear up safety issue in cosmetics. Their research is relevant to many product lines and they have great links.

www.rachelsfriends.org HOME
----------------------------------------

www.rachelsfriends.org/phthalate.html

Scientific Data Regarding Phthalate Exposure

(PubMed would have info, also.)

=======================================

here's a post from Marnie on some good research:

posted 27 May, 2007 06:14 PM

Phytomedicine. 2006 Jan;13(1-2):132-4. Epub 2005 Jul 1

REPELLING PROPERTIES OF SOME PLANT MATERIALS ON THE TICK IXODES RICINUS L.

University of Stockholm, Department of Zoology, Stockholm, Sweden.

The repellent effects on nymphal stages of Ixodes ricinus L. of some plant materials have been studied in the laboratory.

The plant material consisted of an ethanolic extract from Achillea millefolium L., and

volatile oils of birch and/or pine tar, citronella, cloves, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lily of the valley and peppermint.

The most pronounced effects were observed for the oils of citronella, cloves and lily of the valley .

They possessed repelling activities of the same magnitude as the reference repellent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide).

Some major constituents of these oils, e.g. citronellol and geraniol (oil of citronella and lily of the valley) and eugenol (oil of cloves) showed pronounced repelling effects.

This was also the case for phenethyl alcohol, a minor component in the oil from lily of the valley.
PMID: 16360943

Vermont Country Store also sells good old Lily of The Valley perfume ;-)

Also...good old pine tar oil soap and shampoo apparently work too! Can get peppermint scented if you so desire.

Ounce of prevention...

[ 28. May 2007, 08:46 AM: Message edited by: Marnie ]

-

[ 01. November 2007, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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----

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

Phthalates - 600 abstracts on PubMed

=====================================
Int J Androl. 2007 Oct 30; [Epub ahead of print]

Bisphenol-A disruption of the endocrine pancreas and blood glucose homeostasis.

Instituto de Bioingeniera, Universidad Miguel Hernndez de Elche, Alicante, Spain.

Excerpt:

The link between endocrine disruptors and altered blood glucose homeostasis has been recently suggested. . . .

The results reviewed here demonstrate that doses well below the current lowest observed adverse effect level considered by the US-EPA, disrupt pancreatic beta-cell function producing insulin resistance in male mice. . . .

. . . Therefore, this altered blood glucose homeostasis by BPA exposure may enhance the risk of developing type II diabetes.
======================================

Thyroid. 2007 Sep;17(9):811-7. Links

Environmental chemicals impacting the thyroid: targets and consequences.

Biology Department and Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Excerpts:

Considering the importance of TH signaling in development, it is important to consider environmental chemicals that may interfere with this signaling. Recent research indicates that environmental chemicals can interfere with thyroid function and with TH signaling. . . .

. . . When we consider the importance of TH in brain development, it will be important to pursue the possibilities that these chemicals-or interactions among chemical classes-are affecting children's health by influencing TH signaling in the developing brain.

===================================

http://tinyurl.com/272p5w

J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2007;21(4):182-6.Links

Human metabolic interactions of environmental chemicals.

excerpt: Several agrochemicals, including fipronil and the pyrethroids, permethrin and deltamethrin, show toxicity toward human hepatocytes with fipronil being the most potent in this regard. . . .

===========

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map1131
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My sister bought me a t-shirt, hat and socks. The label stated to wash & dry this clothing by itself or like treated clothing.

In a year I've worn the shirt twice and not the hat or socks. I can't really say whether they are bug repellers or not. I haven't put them to a real test.

Pam

--------------------
"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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