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Posted : March 11, 2010
My wife is booked to come diving with me in Barbados and we have happily just discovered she is pregnant. I know there are mosquitos and other biting organisms in Barbados and we usually use DEET based repellents, would DEET be safe to use in the second trimester of pregnancy or should she use an alternative.

Posted : March 12, 2010
Thanks for the query.

I don't know of any evidence in humans that DEET is dangerous in pregnancy, but we do know a certain amount is absorbed through the skin, and it has been associated with birth defects in chicks (but not in other animals). You could try natural alternatives such as citronella oil, but of course the main thing is not to get bitten in the first place - long sleeves, trousers, sleeping under nets etc. are crucial.

Regards, Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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