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Timber Harvesting Safety

New Anti-Tick Apparel Shows Promise

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A controlled study undertaken by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill measured 93% fewer tick attachments among a group of state water quality employees who wore the commercial tick-repelling garment Insect Shield Repellent Apparel, compared to workers in similar environments who used conventional spray repellants or other prevention methods.  The commercially available apparel (www.insectshield.com) is treated, through a special process, with the synthetic chemical “permethrin,” which has properties that repel a wide variety of harmful pests (including mosquitos, flies, chiggers, and midges, as well as ticks) and apparently stays bonded to the fabric for up to 70 launderings.  “Results showed that for every 100 hours spent outdoors, the group wearing treated clothing had 99% fewer tick attachments during work hours and 93% fewer tick attachments overall than the control group.”

UNC stresses that the apparel’s manufacturer “did not fund the study in any way.”  A larger, four-year study to corroborate these results is underway.