Permethrin is a dangerous insecticide. It shouldn't be compared to Deet or any other repellants. If I'm not mistaken, most containers of it carry a danger label (as oppossed to the softer warning or caution labels). It is made to kill living organisms. What do you think happens when it dries on your gear? It leaves a residue...that is why it is effective. That residue chaffes off onto your skin and the rest of your gear. Infrequent minor exposures are unlikely to cause a noticable health issue, but isn't this the kind of thing we go out into the woods to get AWAY from? Don't take seriously any studies that suggest it is safe. There are alot of studies that say agent orange was safe too. Sorry to sound so pessimistic on the matter, but soaking stuff in pesticides is a BAD idea.