Insect Repellent Clothing to Save Lives

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Insect Repellent Clothing to Save Lives Reply with quote

An Izmir-based company has started to manufacture clothing that contains an insect repellent shielding the human body from various insects, including the Hyalomma tick, the carrier of a deadly disease that has recently killed more than 20 people in Turkey.

The potentially fatal disease, known as Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, mainly strikes farm and slaughterhouse workers in the countryside in central Anatolia and Black Sea regions. The mortality rate can reach 30 percent from the disease, which was first identified in Crimea in 1944 and later appeared in Congo .

There is no vaccine against the disease, which causes dizziness, high fever, muscle pain and vomiting. A body rash and bleeding from the bowels and gums, often accompanied by hepatitis and pulmonary failure, follow in severe cases.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency yesterday, Tolga Narbay, a board member of Narkon Textiles Inc., said his company is using insect repellent materials for the first time in Turkey for everyday clothing. The materials are widely used around the world for clothing intended for active outdoor use.

The company makes use of nanotechnology in its manufacturing, Narbay said. "The product erects an insect shield around the wearer's body through the use of an agent unperceivable to the human sense of smell. Our insect repellent provides effective protection against mosquitoes and mosquito bites, ticks, ants, flies and more," he said, adding that the repellent dramatically reduces the number of insects that approach a person wearing the clothes. The insect repellent agent used in the clothing has been approved by Oeko-Tex, an independent association that certifies products that meet health and environmental standards, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).

Narbay noted that the repellent is long lasting and that demand is high for his company's products, particularly in coastal regions, where mosquitoes are more prevalent. The company produces T-shirts, shorts and pants for both adults and children, with plans to diversify their selection in the near future. He also says recent cases of tick bites that resulted in Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, from which several individuals died in Turkey , are likely to increase demand for the apparel.

In the future, functional apparel will dominate the textile industry, Narbay says. "For many years, we have been manufacturing clothes for leading European brands. A brand we currently supply is the market leader in Holland , Belgium and Luxembourg . This is why we decided to manufacture these functional products. It is something that we normally do for our European consumers."

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