EINNEWS, November 19—Residue of popular insect repellents that contain the DEET chemical formulation have been detected in Minnesota’s drinking water sources.

The Minnesota Department of Health has disclosed that it is conducting an investigation into the contamination which many fear could be a threat to human nervous systems.

A 2009 study by the U.S. Geological Survey found DEET in every one of the 12 lakes and 4 rivers it tested. It has also been detected in groundwater.

DEET is the active ingredient in most chemical insect repellents, but its toxicity also destroys plastics and synthetic fabrics. Researchers warn against excessive use by humans, especially for children.

The USGS has been testing for DEET in drinking water for many years and has found it increasingly prevalent in Minnesota’s lakes and streams..

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one in three U.S. residents uses a DEET product each year.

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