[Coral-List] Posting regarding DEET being detrimental to corals

Jessica Carilli jcarilli at ucsd.edu
Fri May 15 16:30:01 EDT 2009

Surely if you dump DEET into a tank with a coral in it, bad things will 
happen, but I wonder, in the grand scheme of impacts on the reef, 
whether DEET washing off divers is actually a big impact?
After contracting dengue fever in Utila, Honduras, I've taken to 
wearing concentrated DEET (and long sleeved clothes) in tropical 
locations where dengue is epidemic.  In this situation, I feel like the 
relative dangers of NOT wearing DEET to human health may outweigh the 
impact on the reef, which I am assuming is relatively minor.  I might 
well be wrong though, and will be interested to see other responses to 
this post.
One idea would be to encourage DEET use on land but to suggest people 
wash just before suiting up to get in the water. However, if the 
wastewater is not treated it would eventually just be flushed out to 
the reef anyways...
Jessica Carilli

On May 15, 2009, at 12:03 PM, West End Sandy Bay Marine Park wrote:

> The Roatan Marine Park has always informed its visitors  that they 
> should not wear DEET and then enter the sea as it proves to be toxic 
> and damaging for the reef and its inhabitants.
> We are now being questioned and would like to provide people with 
> scientific evidence to back our claims. Please provide us with links 
> high lighting the detrimental effects that DEET had on corals, fish, 
> crustaceans etc
> Thank you
> Roatan Marine Park
> Promoting Research, Conservation and Education on Roatan
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