Spectrum Brands (ticker: SPB, exchange: NYSE Archipelago Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Warmest January on Record Alerts Experts to a Potential 'Mosquito Mayday'New Active Ingredients Recommended by CDC Offer More Options for Protection;
New Online Brochure Helps People 'Pick the Right Repellent'
ST. LOUIS, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States had its warmest
January on record this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. That, combined with wet weather in pockets of the country and
debris from a season's worth of heavy storms, means mosquitoes -- and the
diseases they carry -- could very well be a serious health threat again this
The unseasonably warm January, coming on the heels of rains ending the
drought that much of the country has suffered for the past year, provides
perfect conditions for massive numbers of mosquitoes to hatch with the first
warm, wet day. Compounding the problem is debris from last year's hurricanes
and other recent storms, which offers those new mosquitoes plenty of places to
rest and lay more eggs.
The good news for consumers is that they have more options than ever in
protecting themselves from mosquitoes. Last year, the Centers for Disease
Control recommended two new active ingredients as effective alternatives to
-- Picaridin, which is virtually odorless with a light, clean feel.
Picaridin was introduced in the U.S. last year in Cutter Advanced.
-- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, a plant-based repellent, available under the
Repel brand name.
Based on the immediate popularity of these products last year, Spectrum
Brands, the manufacturer of both Cutter Advanced and Repel, is expanding its
line of Picaridin products to include wipe and aerosol forms and higher
concentration formulas providing protection for up to eight hours.
Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Disease, recently reported at
the National Conference on West Nile Virus, "We have more people living in
areas where West Nile virus is, and the reality is the potential for bad news
has never been greater."
What can people do to protect themselves this summer against mosquito
bites and the potential diseases they carry? Simple -- much the same way
people won't go outside without sun protection, they need to use an insect
repellent whenever they go outdoors.
"The single most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves
is wear insect repellent because it is the last line of defense against
mosquito bites," said former Navy medical entomologist Joe Conlon, now a
technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association. "And with two
alternatives to DEET recommended by the CDC, people now have choices in safe,
New Repellent Options
While DEET-based mosquito repellents have set the standard for protection
in the U.S. for decades, many consumers have voiced some dissatisfaction with
the odor and skin feel. Also, DEET is a plasticizer, meaning the chemical
reacts aggressively with plastics, coatings, and other synthetic materials.
(For example, DEET can "melt" plastic flip-flops, ruin camping equipment, or
leave fingerprints on plastic or varnished surfaces.)
Currently, only two in five American adults use insect repellents. To
help improve usage rates, last year the CDC recommended two new active
ingredients in addition to DEET for effective protection against West Nile
virus: Picaridin and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
Spectrum Brands is the only company in the U.S. to offer repellents with
DEET, Picaridin, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus -- all available under the Cutter
and Repel brand names. "We are working hard to educate people about these new
active ingredients and how to choose the repellent that's right for them and
their family," said Mark Bauman, marketing director, Spectrum Brands. "By
offering repellents with all three CDC-recommended active ingredients, we hope
we are encouraging the 60 percent of Americans who don't use any repellents to
try something this summer."
In addition not damaging plastics or other synthetic materials, Picaridin
and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus also have a variety of other benefits:
Picaridin - introduced in the U.S. last year in Cutter Advanced (7
percent Picaridin), it provides the same, effective protection as
DEET, but in a formula that is virtually odorless with a light, clean
feel. These improved cosmetic benefits could reduce consumers'
aversion to applying repellents. This year, Cutter Advanced Sport (an
aerosol with 15 percent Picaridin) lasts twice as long as the original
pump and also protects against ticks. The original Cutter Advanced
also is now available in a wipe form, allowing for more controlled
application. Picaridin is safe to use on children older than two
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) - derived from the Eucalyptus Citriodora
tree, this active ingredient -- registered with the Environmental
Protection Agency and tested for safety and efficacy -- is proven
effective against mosquitoes and ticks. This active ingredient is
available in the U.S. exclusively in Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, which is
a 40 percent OLE pump. This repellent is the perfect option for those
who want a natural product. Lemon Eucalyptus is recommended for
children older than three years.
Both Cutter Advanced and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus are priced comparable to
According to Conlon, there is one key factor on deciding which active
ingredient to choose when selecting an insect repellent: "The most important
thing is for people to pick a repellent they are going to use ... and then
A free brochure titled "How to Pick the Right Repellent" is available
online at several Web sites, including http://www.cutteradvanced.com ,
http://www.repel.com , http://www.picaridin.com , and
http://www.lemoneucalyptus.com . The brochure provides more information on
DEET, Picaridin, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, including protection times and
For more information about the West Nile virus and ways to protect against
mosquitoes, visit http://www.cdc.gov/westnile .
About Spectrum Brands, Inc.
Spectrum Brands (NYSE: SPC) is a global consumer products company and a
leading supplier of batteries, lawn and garden care products, specialty pet
supplies, shaving, grooming and personal care products, household
insecticides, and portable lighting. Spectrum Brands' products are sold by the
world's top 25 retailers and are available in more than one million stores in
120 countries around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Spectrum
Brands has approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. The company's stock
trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SPC.