How long does bug spray remain effective

Be careful when using insect sprays indoors


The use of organophosphate-containing insect sprays inside the apartment can lead to a high level of indoor pollution, which can potentially endanger health. But paints, cosmetics or toothpaste can also contain biocides, warns the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

If possible, insect sprays should not be used inside the home. Because many of these sprays contain so-called biocides as an active ingredient, which can harbor health risks that have not yet been fully understood. The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in Berlin warns of this. According to a UBA research project within the framework of the “Environment and Health” (APUG) action program, it becomes dangerous to health, especially when insects in cracks and joints are fought with sprays, the so-called organophosphates or organophosphates as biocidal active ingredients
Organophosphates are neurotoxins. They disrupt the signal transmission between nerve cells or between nerve and muscle cells.
contain. This can lead to a high concentration of active substances in the indoor air. Therefore, insect sprays containing organophosphate should not be used without hesitation indoors. Incidentally, it is not only insect sprays that contain biocides: these substances can be found almost everywhere in our households, which are supposed to protect against unwanted pest infestation - some can even be found in paints, cosmetics or toothpaste. If it is unclear whether a spray contains organophosphates or not, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety or the Consumer Protection Center can provide information in addition to the UBA.

After evaluating the toxicological data on 20 selected active ingredients, a health risk was only determined for biocides with a sensitizing effect and for biocides in the form of sprays. For a total of 10 of the 20 active ingredients examined in more detail, there are now indications or clear evidence of a sensitizing effect. The UBA emphasizes that the pollution via the breath could be neglected in about half of all selected biocidal active substances if they were used in liquid form. It is different with biocide sprays: Here fine droplets form when spraying, which can be inhaled. This risk does not exist in wiping applications with biocides, however, as this would not result in high concentrations relevant to the effect in the indoor air. A detailed summary of the results of the research project "Health Risks of Biocide-Containing Products and Articles of Daily Use" is available for download. The journal Internist Praxis will soon publish a summary under the heading “Medicine and Environment”.