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How toxic is cedarwood essential oil?

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  1. JustChecking

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Nov 29 2013 19:12:55
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    How toxic is cedarwood essential oil if I use it in the below ways to ward off fleas:

    1. Without dilution, I put a number of drops on my comforter and comforter cover after weekly hot wash & dry. No zipper on the cover.

    2. Put several drops of this oil and fill up the rest of the mini-sized (like a eyeglasses cleaner) bottle with water. I spray my hair when I feel really itchy. I also spray the bathroom counter with this sometimes.

    3. I occasionally add a few drop to mop the floor.

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  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Nov 30 2013 0:45:51
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    Justchecking,

    I can't comment on the safety or dangers of applying cedarwood oil to your body/hair but personally, I would not use a product in these ways unless it is labeled for the specific purpose.

    Fleas can be treated in various ways to eliminate them from your home, and then you won't need to worry about "warding them off". We have a FAQ on fleas.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. KillerQueen

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Nov 30 2013 1:40:20
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    As nobugs said - you're doing it all wrong. That will do nothing for a flea problem if you do in fact have one.

  4. JustChecking

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Nov 30 2013 9:16:07
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    Thank you both!

    I have been using baking soda to vacuum. Because I couldn't find any plug in flea traps at the local stores, I ordered them online. They won't be here until Dec 6 or so. The homemade kind did not work for me.

    When I first tried the baking soda, light & vacuum method, I had more bites. I read somewhere that somebody suggested to spray pesticide on his pants (below the knees, I supposed) before vacuuming. I thought the cedarwood-diluted-with-water spray is a better alternative.

    The cedarwood essential oil is just something extra. Well, it's good to know not to use it.

    Do you see a problem if my duvet cover only has several buttons (no zipper)? So, there are wide openings between each button.

  5. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Nov 30 2013 10:47:40
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    Dear just,

    The home made type work just fine as long as there's fleas present to be attracted and jump into them.

    Application of this product, as per above, is not advised for a number of reasons including that it will not work very well.

    If you're not catching fleas in the home made traps the possibilities include:
    a) The trap is not fashioned optimally.
    b) The trap is not in the optimal location(s).
    c) There are no fleas present to jump into the trap.

    This is all "do-able" for you when implementing these things correctly. As such, I suggest that you look at the photos & description of how to make the home made traps and re-do them.

    Additionally, you should read up on the why's, where fore's and how to's regarding fleas.

    Of course, feel free to post any additional questions you might have.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  6. JustChecking

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 1 2013 4:41:32
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    Will do. Thanks!

  7. Davetox

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 1 2013 13:34:46
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    Cedar oil is practically non-toxic orally. In patch tests in humans, in which an 8% concentration in applied to the skin of volunteers, it caused no allergy responses (this said, individuals can still have allergic responses almost any substance).

    There is very weak evidence that it caused spontaneous abortions & cancer in lab animals. This is scary to read - but the reality is that every chemical is toxic at some dose (and cedar oil is a complex mixture of chemicals). Most scare stories about registered pesticides are based on effects at very high doses.

    In 1996, EPA decided that cedar oil presented such a low risk that it no longer needs to be registered as a pesticide. This is both good & bad: low toxicity is good and not having to register it saves the manufacturers a fortune. The bad side is that the manufacturers aren't required to have data on safety or effectiveness and there is no EPA approved label. While Nobugsonme's comment about use according to the label is appropriate for registered pesticides, cedar oil may not have the EPA label (at least in the US).

    The Nat'l Tox Program (NPT) at NIEHS has an excellent summary of cedar oil toxicity and regulatory history for those wanting details.

    In summary, it's unlikely that you'll have adverse effects from using small amounts of cedar oil you describe, but you may not get any benefit either.

  8. Davetox

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 1 2013 13:35:25
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  9. JustChecking

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 1 2013 14:56:08
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    Thanks, Davetox!

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Dec 2 2013 3:31:01
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    Davetox - 13 hours ago  » 
    Cedar oil is practically non-toxic orally.

    Do you have a citation for that?

  11. esteban76

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Dec 4 2013 9:27:52
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    DaveTox -

    Curious about this as well. My wife and I fogged our loft several times using Best Yet Cedarcide, which is essentially 10% red cedar oil and 'liquid quartz' (silica?). We were using it under the guidance of stopskinmites.com and were told it was safe. The product was dispersed using a cold fogger and came with a dust mask. We did it maybe 9 times and stopped, as it was too expensive, messy and time consuming. Plus it didn't work.

    What's really strange, is that while it did not stain anything, we noticed that a white filmy substance began (and continues) to form on the outside of heated metals (the stove, the oven, pots and pans, hot water heater, etc.) We aren't sure what this is, but were kind of freaked out. It's been months since we've used it.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Dec 4 2013 15:56:23
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    esteban,

    Fogging is said to be an ineffective method for treating bed bugs.

    In addition, you may not be aware that the company you mention (Best Yet!) was the target of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) litigation based on its marketing claims, and according to the FTC:

    Under the agreed-upon settlement orders, the defendants are prohibited from claiming that their BEST Yet! products by themselves can stop or prevent a bed bug infestation, or are more effective at doing so than other products, unless they have competent and scientific evidence to make the claims. The defendants also are barred from claiming that their products can effectively treat head lice infestations unless those claims are non-misleading and they obtain FDA approval prior to making those claims. The defendants are further prohibited from misrepresenting the results of scientific tests or studies, and from claiming that a product or service they sell is endorsed by a government agency or by any other third-party entity when it is not.

    Moreover, the FTC is also going after other marketers of cedar oil at this time.

    You can read the FTC's 7/13 press release here.

    One of the concerns I had of Best Yet before the FTC took action, beyond their marketing claims, was that they were recommending fogging with their product.

  13. Davetox

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 6 2013 21:55:10
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    Nobugsonme - The citation is p. 13 of the NTP article. Oral LD50 = >5 g/kg This means practically non-toxic from a regulatory perspective (and practical perspective).

    esteban - I don't know what the white film is. From your description, it could be silica, but it's hard to know. If it's silica, wipe it with a damp cloth to avoid getting it in the air.

    If a product lacks an EPA label, it means the product hasn't been tested for safety for you or effectiveness against the pest. Hence, the post by Nobugsonme is right on-target.

  14. esteban76

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 12 2013 7:51:52
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    Thanks guys. I'm aware that the company is under investigation, but only because its products were ineffective, not because they posed any danger.

    We've tried wiping things off, washing them in the dishwasher, by hand, etc. The white film returns once the metal (stove grates, oven, pots and pans, etc). Wondering if we ought to buy all new pots and pans.

    We haven't used the fogger in months. It just sits in the closet with an unused gallon of the stuff. Was saving it 'just in case' someone got sick or something and I had some proof. Scary thoughts. Anyway, thanks for your help.

    esteban

  15. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 12 2013 9:57:31
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    Hi,

    There are several animal studies out there that illustrate why animals should not be kept on saw dust and wood chippings made of cedar. I will try and find the references when I am next in the office.

    David

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    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  16. esteban76

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 12 2013 11:02:42
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    David, I've seen those. A bit frightening. We only used it about 7 times, and that was months ago. Really just fishing for the 'oh you're probably fine i wouldn't worry at all' comment

    It was totally ineffective with the bugs, and we won't be using it again.

  17. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 12 2013 11:50:40
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    Agh if you want an opinion to meet your needs then it's best to pay an academic lab for it.

    In reality it's not as if you are living perminently on treated surfaces or wearing treated fabrics so your limbs are unlikely to fall off overnight.

    It's an issue you just might have to keep an eye on although keep at the back of your mind for 18 months and ultimately exercise a little more caution in future, 25B does not mean it's either green or 100% safe.

    David


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