Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Pacific Northwest
Hammock: Modified ENO Single
Tarp: DIY ???
Insulation: Quilt & Sleep Pad
Suspension: Whoopies & Huggers
The safety of Permethrin
So I have been doing some reading about hammocks, bugs, and bug netting, the same as most of you do and one thing I kept seeing was that on websites and here on the forum that y'all are spraying your hammocks...etc. with Permethrin, so I thought I would do some digging in to what Permethrin really is and this is what I found.
Permethrin acts as neurotoxin, slowing down the nervous system through binding to sodium channels. This action is negatively correlated to temperature, thus generally showing more acute effects on cold-blooded animals (insects, fish, frogs...) over warm-blooded animals (mammals and birds):
* permethrin is extremely toxic to fish and aquatic life in general so extreme care must be taken when using products containing permethrin near water sources
* permethrin is also highly toxic to cats and flea and tick repellent formulas intended and labeled for (the more resistant) dogs may contain permethrin and cause feline permethrin toxicosis in cats 
* very high doses will have tangible neurotoxic effects on mammals and birds, including human beings.
(Permethrin does not present any notable genotoxicity or immunotoxicity in humans and farm animals.)
Permethrin is classified by the US EPA a likely human carcinogen, based on reproducible studies in which mice fed permethrin developed liver and lung tumors.
Recent studies have linked permethrin exposure to Parkinson's disease, including very small exposures.
Symptoms of Permethrin Exposure from the International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSC):
Skin: Redness. Burning sensation.
Eyes: Redness. Pain.
Ingestion: Burning sensation. Diarrhoea. Vomiting.
After reading all of that I don't know if I want that all over something I would be sleeping in/on... I know they say Permethrin is safe for humans but how many other things have we been told were safe only later to find out they were not?
Am I way off here? Thoughts? Comments?
Some of my freight hopping adventures on film over at my YouTube Channel... Oh and there is other stuff there as well!
When I first started looking at permethrin, I had many of the same concerns as you. One thing that I found out was that the toxic effects are present when it is wet, once it dries it is safe, and re-wetting (sweat, dew, rain) does not reactivate it. We can take these statements with as large a grain of salt as we like.
The other thing that I found out was that our food supply is pretty much soaked in permethrin already. It is widely used to spray crops. I sometimes camp in the tropics, and I was worried about introducing permethrin to the coral reef ecosystem through my sweat, etc. Then I found out that the agricultural run-off from local farms made my potential impact look like a flea on an elephant's butt, inside a whale. Just my $.02.
All of this being said, I'm going to try to use B-1 (thiamine) to combat the mossies this year. I am total sweet meat for the little bloodsuckers, so if it works for me, it should work for most. We'll see what happens.
"Interesting! No, wait, the other thing.....tedious!"- Bender Bending Rodriques
http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ight=permethin Old thread where we discussed permethin.
Ambulo tua ambulo.
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sammamish, WA
Hammock: Gathered Tablecloth
Tarp: Cat-cut Brown Poly
Insulation: DIY quilts - sweet
Suspension: Straps + Whoopies
"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive" - Elbert Hubbard
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: St George Ut
Insulation: Sniveller & Breeze
Suspension: Full suspension?
Do it, it's the best ten bucks you can spend ;-)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chicago land
Hammock: DIY 1.5 DBL
Tarp: DIY cat cut hex
Insulation: PLTQ & DIY 20* UQ
Suspension: Whoopie slings
I've been doing quite a bit of reading on this subject like the OP. I would have to say that it is advisable to use caution while applying permethrin and while it is wet. After that I'm much less worried about wearing cloths soaked in it vs the nasty things those biting critters carry and just the general pain in the posterior they are. Also, I'm planning on drinking copious amounts of it and thus not too worried about the carcinogenic effects.
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nashville, TN
Hammock: WBBB 1.7 dbl lefty, Claytor JH
Tarp: HH Hex, Claytor
Insulation: Pad &/or PLUQ
I will say up front I have no idea whether or not this will degrade nylon/polyester/etc man made fabrics.
But this product was developed for the US .mil to eliminate deet dependency
I had some Amazon'd but haven't tried it yet.
I have some friends that told me about this that simply can't handle contact with any harsh chemicals.
And some folks who have dogs that have used frontline in their locales that it no longer works for (apparently bugs are developing immunity to frontline), and they use it on their pets.
I'll throw this out there and wait for comments on material treatment because I think this is going to be on of those you have to try it to tell type situations and I don't have a hammock to guinea pig.
So there you have it.