My journey into natural skin products started with an incident with OFF. My kids pitched a tent in our backyard and sprayed around the tent with OFF. A few days later, I noticed a yellow rectangle outline in my yard where the tent had been. The OFF had killed the grass and it turned out to be permanent. Roundup doesn’t even do that good of a job! I was horrified that I may have been poisoning my kids unintentionally. I decided to make my own mosquito spray. Weeks of research turned into an obsession as I learned more and more about the harmful chemicals in skincare products. Even Health Canada had a published page of warnings and safety measures for using DEET back then.
Years later, I met a kindred spirit who was as passionate about avoiding harmful chemicals. After Trish and I joined our two companies, we continued to sell mosquito spray, as it was effective on most kids and adults and was a safe alternative to store-bought, DEET products.
Problems arose when a very skewed, poorly designed study came out that effectively eliminated Citronella products. This study claimed that methyleugenol (a small component of Citronella) MAY cause cancer. However, NO studies have ever been conducted showing citronella is unsafe. In fact, some components found in citronella have been found to be anti-cancer. Then came the West Nile Virus scare and lobbyists used it to pressure the government to ban all natural mosquito sprays. Due to the lack of evidence/studies done on citronella (and pressure from lobbyists), the Canadian government banned all citronella mosquito products.
They went on to reclassify mosquito sprays as pesticides, which makes it even more difficult for natural products to meet their qualifications. This effectively eliminated almost all legal, natural, mosquito sprays from the market. Only large corporations with money can afford to manufacture and sell mosquito sprays and 99% of them are from the makers of DEET products. Health Canada went around to pharmacies and other stores to search out and seize all natural mosquito sprays and fining the companies that made them. Natural mosquito repellants disappeared overnight without the publics’ knowledge. At Cloud 9 Naturally, we got off lucky. They issued a warning and seized our sprays. We only lost a couple thousand dollars. We personally know someone who lost her entire business and over $100,000. We still have people asking for a natural spray. Though we can’t sell pre-made mosquito spray, we can share our recipe. What you do with it is up to you :)
by Joanna Rosso
by Rena Dzuba
by Joanna Rosso
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