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Health and safety forum

Burning Coils

Posted by aman218 on 8/7/2009 at 22:06

I live in England and right now, in the midst of our summer, I have at least 20 bites.
Obviously, I'm a little worried about getting bitten every second during my time out in SE Asia and was considering a coil everywhere I go....BUT I've just read this article < http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2003/6286/abstract.html >
about the health implications...what do you guys recommend I do?

#1 aman218 has been a member since 7/10/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by SBE on 9/7/2009 at 01:36

Coils don't work that well. They're often put under tables in open air restaurants because mozzies tend to attack feet and ankles, but I don't often use one in my room.

One non toxic alternative for clearing mozzies from your room is to use a rechargeable "tennis bat". These hand held devices electrocute mosquitoes and are sold everywhere, cost about $3 US. They're a bit big to carry around but work quite well if you have space in your rucksack. It's very cathartic hearing the sizzling sound every time you zap one!

PS Don't try licking these bats to see what it feels like for the mosquito because I can tell you now that it hurts. ;-)

#2 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by busylizzy on 9/7/2009 at 10:31

"PS Don't try licking these bats to see what it feels like for the mosquito because I can tell you now that it hurts"

Now that gave me a good chuckle!! What on earth would possess you to try it?! Reminds me of my niece when she was about 3-4 years old, and wondered what it was like to kiss a lightbulb. Only problem, she tried this out on a sidetable lamp that had been turned on for awhile. Poor kid!

Anyhow - yes, I love the satisfaction of zapping the little buggers with the electric tennis racket. I use one at home sometimes. Tried it on a cockroach once, but that took a little bit longer to work. I felt a bit bad then... :-)

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by aman218 on 9/7/2009 at 16:26

guess i'll be buying a few electric tennis rackets and carefully positioning them all around me. like a tennis racket shield of armour. Thanks guys

#4 aman218 has been a member since 7/10/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by BruceMoon on 9/7/2009 at 19:24

aman

Being English, you may not be aware there is a wonderful alternative.

When you get to SE Asia, get yourself some hemp.

In the evening, light the hemp in an appropriate container.

Burning hemp is far better for the environment than burning fossil fuels to make the electricity to power an electric mossie zapper.

Please know that the governments in the area are damming rivers and forceably removing local ethnic communities just to produce electricity. The damming of the rivers is also drying up the Mekong River basin, and causing large scale starvation to the riverine communities. It is also threatening the habitat of many river fish species. The loss of water in the river system is economically harming river communities used to river transport. I could go on.

If you do choose to burn hemp, the greatest advantage is that when you get accustomed to the aroma, it helps you relax, and you cease to worry about getting bitten.

So, if you come visit SE Asia, your concern over mossie bites can be addressed in an environmentally responsible way, or you can choose to help destroy this wonderful planet we live on by unnecessarily using electricity.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

#5 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by aman218 on 9/7/2009 at 22:14

thanks for the reply...kind of dramatic but I get your point

I'd choose hemp over an electric racket any day..
You mentioned it relaxes but does it actually stop the damn mozzyz?

And if by coincidence I just so happen to help save the planet, then so be it ;)

#6 aman218 has been a member since 7/10/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by SBE on 9/7/2009 at 23:55

You sound like you've been smoking some Bruce...

#7 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by BruceMoon on 10/7/2009 at 06:10

aman

I trust you've looked at...

https://www.travelfish.org/board/post/travelhealth/3962_deet-or-picaridn-

Using Picaridin, Neem & Coconut oil, or lemon eucalyptus is so so so much easier, and much more effective.

ps. SBE - cheeky - but, I know you prefer neem & coconut oil...

Cheers

#8 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by MADMAC on 12/7/2009 at 19:24

Bruce
Of course there's the cost of making the hemp - you won't be likely burning just the plant but it will have been modified. Then, of course, there was the cost of tranporting the hemp to the market where you bought it - that meant fossil fuels were used, hence increasing CO2. Then there's the burning process of the hemp itself, which also creates CO2...

Hydro power in the main, because it's a good long term solution, is a plus in my view. Yes, it has negative impacts - so does everything. Hydro POWER is not a problem for the Mekong - Hydro DIVERSION for agriculture is what causes problems for the basin.

#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by BruceMoon on 13/7/2009 at 04:00

John - MAC

I suggest you are overlooking the impact of shanks pony.

:smile:

[img="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/Go-home.svg/100px-Go-home.svg.png"]

Cheers

#10 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by amazon_blonde on 13/7/2009 at 05:38

aman,
do you use topical repellents? i understand the aversion to deet but there are good non-deet alternatives. mosquitos just love me, and i'm always the first person they bite. i simply must put on repellant all the time, even back in Canada. given the frequent application, i try to avoid deet when possible, but there are many good alternatives. i got very few bites in SEA this trip and credit natural topical repellants for that.

#11 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116

Posted by MADMAC on 13/7/2009 at 19:31

But of course, how could I have forgotten "Shanks Pony"???

#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by SBE on 13/7/2009 at 19:41

I totally agree Madmac. Something to do with the impact of burning hemp on an Aussi brain if you ask me...

#13 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by aman218 on 20/7/2009 at 20:45

amazon_blonde,
Thanks for reply but you didn't actually name any alternatives...! What natural topical repellants do you recommend?

When at home, I use nothing. Get bitten a bit but then it is only England. We're in the middle of our summer right now and I look out the window to see heavy cloud and a mid day temperature peaking at 21 degrees!

#14 aman218 has been a member since 7/10/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by aman218 on 20/7/2009 at 20:47

amazon_blonde,
Thanks for reply but you didn't actually name any alternatives...! What natural topical repellants do you recommend?

When at home, I use nothing. Get bitten a bit but then it is only England. We're in the middle of our summer right now and I look out the window to see heavy cloud and a mid day temperature peaking at 21 degrees!

#15 aman218 has been a member since 7/10/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by SBE on 20/7/2009 at 23:36

Repellents based on Neem oil seem to work pretty well. You can even make your own... mix neem (2%) and coconut oil.

#16 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by BruceMoon on 21/7/2009 at 06:37

aman218

In case you didn't pick it up, I was being facetious. There are so many posts here on Travelfish about insect repellents...

I am dead against chemical based drugs or repellents used on the basis of just in case. To me, this is how we get resistance to the drugs / chemicals. And, some drugs / chemicals really do damage the human (as a side effect of prolonged use).

Like you, I am somewhat concerned about picking up a disease from a mosquito bite. The concern is far more towards Dengue Fever than malaria, which is largely not endemic in the areas where most travellers go.

I advocate a two pronged approach.

Being male, when in SE Asia I wear long trousers and short sleeved 'business style' shirts. This provides some protection to all but arms and neck/face.

I (now) use a natural insect repellant.

SBE has mentioned Neem & Coconut oil.

I live in Australia, and we here have a product called Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (as an aside, the tree is actually a Corymbia, but the world knows better the term Eucalyptus). This oil is effective as an insect repellent.

In case you haven't heard of it, here are a few pointers:

Info on all alternative insect repellents can be found here.

Reference to a US sold product is here

To make yourself, go here, but if you do choose to make it yourself, you will need some oil which can be found here.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

#17 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by MADMAC on 22/7/2009 at 01:14

Bruce
While I am certainly no expert concerning insect repellents, I would not make the assumption that if something is "chemical based" it is likely harmful and if it is "naturally based" it is likely benign. Nature is not your friend. If it were, you wouldn't need any of these repellents in the first place.

#18 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by BruceMoon on 22/7/2009 at 05:31

John (MAC)

Here is another case of misreading my intentions.

The drugs/chemicals that are used in health management are toxic - no question. What medical science has done is advocate an amount of the toxic chemical to treat a medical condition in a proportion that is toxic to the disease, but (hopefully) not problematic to the patient.

That the drugs/chemicals are toxic explains why the drug/chemical companies have to rigorously prove the efficacy and benefit of the toxic drug/chemical before it is allowed to be sold.

Go read #7 here and note that I am not averse to drugs/chemicals. Rather, that they should be used wisely and with caution.

Applying toxic chemicals to the skin when there are less harmful products is, IMHO, a better way to manage the risk.

Cheers

#19 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941


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