GREENSBORO, N.C., July 30, 2003 — For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered insect-repellent apparel as a defense in the battle against mosquitoes, ticks and other insects. BUZZ OFF™ Insect Shield Insect Repellant Apparel, produced using a patent-pending process, received the agency’s approval in July. BUZZ OFF™ clothing will soon be available to consumers nationwide.
“This is an exciting breakthrough in personal insect protection,” says Haynes Griffin, chairman and CEO of BUZZ OFF Insect Shield, LLC, the company that developed the new technology. “BUZZ OFF clothing will be a tremendous benefit to anyone seeking relief from biting insects. This clothing provides a new defense against the nuisance of insects such as mosquitoes and ticks, which may carry diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease.”
The BUZZ OFF process tightly binds the active ingredient to the garment, creating an invisible and odorless protection for the wearer. The only way the consumer can tell that the clothing is insect repellent is that it keeps bugs from biting.
“The BUZZ OFF EPA registration is the most significant development in insect protection in over 50 years,” says entomologist and parasitologist Dr. Jim Ahrens. “It is a whole new way of protecting people against mosquitoes, ticks and other insects that are annoying at best, but also potentially life-threatening. Because the repellent is built into the apparel rather than applied directly to the skin, BUZZ OFF provides a convenient vehicle to protect us from the insects that plague and pester us.”
The active ingredient used in the BUZZ OFF process is permethrin, a man-made version of a repellent that occurs naturally in chrysanthemums. Permethrin is not effective when applied directly to the skin, because it deactivates and dissipates quickly.
“One of the secrets of the BUZZ OFF process is its ability to bind this effective repellent to everyday clothing,” explains Richard Lane, company president and inventor of the BUZZ OFF Insect Shield process. “This creates an insect-repellent garment that is both effective and long lasting.”
The invention of BUZZ OFF apparel comes at a time when U.S. health professionals and consumers are increasingly concerned about insect-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Consumers are also cautious about over-using traditional insect repellents, especially those that contain DEET.
The idea for developing insect-repellent clothing was driven by a need to find a protection system that was effective, long lasting and that eliminated the need for repeated application to the skin. After years of research and testing, the company found BUZZ OFF apparel to be highly effective in repelling mosquitoes and ticks. It is similarly effective in repelling ants, flies, chiggers and midges.
“Initially, we expect BUZZ OFF apparel to be popular among outdoor enthusiasts,” says Lane. “However, insect protection is just as important in our neighborhoods and playgrounds, so we expect BUZZ OFF apparel to move quickly from the backwoods to the backyard.”
To introduce BUZZ OFF apparel, the company has partnered with The Orvis Company of Manchester, Vermont and with Ex Officio of Seattle, Washington, both leaders in durable and dependable outdoor clothing.
“We are tremendously excited to be partnering with these highly respected companies for the launch of BUZZ OFF apparel,” says CEO Haynes Griffin. “Both manufacturers have a long and well-recognized tradition of innovation and quality.”
The Orvis and ExOfficio BUZZ OFF lines will include pants, shorts, shirts and socks for both men and women. A limited number of garments will be offered this fall, with BUZZ OFF apparel more widely available by Spring 2004. In addition, Ex Officio will soon announce a line of BUZZ OFF clothing for children.
BUZZ OFF Insect Shield, LLC, introduced the first insect-repellent apparel registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The innovative BUZZ OFF™ patent-pending technology provides effective and convenient protection against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges.
BUZZ OFF Insect Shield, LLC, was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina.