CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Awards $2 Million Grant for Lyme Disease Study Utilizing Insect Shield® Technology

Final Insect Shield textile  technology in round format with R

Dr. Thomas Mather, University of Rhode Island (URI) Professor of Public Health Entomology and Dr. Steven Meshnick, Epidemiologist University of North Carolina (UNC), to lead the research team.

Lyme disease has become one of the fastest growing epidemics to date. The incidence of tick-borne disease throughout the country has doubled since 1991. Nationally, the CDC estimates about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed annually. According to the CDC, in 2014, 96% of confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported from 14 states – one of which was Rhode Island. In response, the CDC’s NIOSH division, which works to prevent workplace illnesses and injuries, awarded a federal grant worth $2,039,000 to study Lyme disease prevention and exposure among outdoor workers. Throughout the next four years field studies will be conducted testing the effectiveness of long lasting permethrin-impregnated (LLPI) clothing treated with Insect Shield® Repellent Technology.

Dr. Thomas Mather, Director of the Center for Vector-Borne Disease at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and University of North Carolina (UNC) epidemiologist Dr. Steven Meshnick, will lead the team in researching whether long-lasting permethrin treatment is a viable strategy for reducing tick-borne diseases, particularly Lyme disease, among outdoor workers. The results of the investigation could help workers determine the best type of personal protective equipment and work practices to employ to protect against ticks and tick-borne illnesses. According to the CDC’s grant announcement: “If successful, the research could provide strong and much needed evidence that the long-lasting treatment of clothing with permethrin results in significant reductions in tick-borne diseases.”

A 2011 pilot study conducted by researchers at The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health reported that the incidence of tick attachments was reduced by 93 percent (99% during working hours) among workers wearing Insect Shield Repellent Apparel. The report was published online March 11 in the journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

“There just are more ticks in more places these days,” said Dr Thomas Mather. “Ticks and the infections they carry, like Lyme disease, are a largely unmet public health crisis. There is an urgent need for research on actionable prevention strategies that are easy for people at risk to adopt,” he added. “Safe and effective tick repellent clothing could make tick bite protection as easy as getting dressed in the morning,” Mather explained.

Unfortunately, tick-borne illnesses are not the only concern for outdoor enthusiasts. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria, Dengue fever and West Nile virus are also prevalent throughout the globe. Newer concerns include the Zika and Chikungunya viruses which are also transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Bottom line, it is important to stay protected when enjoying the outdoors in the coming spring/summer months or when traveling to buggy locales.

Insect Shield Repellent Apparel and Gear continues to be put to the test by outdoor enthusiasts, the US Army and Marine Corps, and global health, forestry and oil workers as they travel and conduct work in disease-risk areas throughout the world. Recently the elite adventure racing team, Team Yoga Slackers protected themselves in ExOfficio BugsAway apparel with Insect Shield as they competed in the Adventure Racing World Championships in the Panthanal region of Brazil - known for intense bugs. Learn more about their epic adventure and protective gear courtesy of GearJunkie.

About Insect Shield® Technology:
Insect Shield Repellent Apparel and Gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield is the result of years of research and testing. In July 2003, Insect Shield Repellent Apparel was registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Insect Shield Technology is utilized by leading lifestyle brands, work wear distributors and International relief organizations across the globe to provide effective protection against insects and the diseases they can carry. Insect Shield is an approved vendor of the US Army and US Marine Corps.

Contact: Janine Robertson
Ph: 206 354-9093


Use of Insect Shield's, or any other company's equipment or products, for research purposes pursuant to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) ongoing grant to University of Rhode Island on Preventing Lyme Disease Exposure Among Outdoor Workers, does not imply endorsement on behalf of NIOSH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).



Gifts that Give Back: Insect Shield Holiday BOGO Helps Protect Children from Malaria

SEATTLE, WA – Insect Shield®, known for their bug repellent apparel/gear technology, is launching a holiday Super Hero Blanket campaign to help protect at-risk children from malaria. Instead of a traditional buy one, get one free offer, Insect Shield is placing two protective more

ExOfficio® and Insect Shield® to Provide Global Health Partners With BugsAway® Uniform Shirts

ExOfficio, a leading manufacturer of adventure travel apparel, has partnered with Insect Shield® Repellent Technology and Sunshell Manufacturing to provide uniforms to the global volunteers at Medical Teams International and World Concern. With input from Derek Sciba, Senior more


Insect Shield® and World Vision® Working Together at Outdoor Retailer to Put Protective Blankets in Hands of those in Need

In partnership with World Vision®, Insect Shield will make their Protection blanket available to those at risk for dangerous insect-borne diseases. Outdoor Retailer Show: Buy a World Vision Insect Shield® Blanket for $22 and get another blanket placed in the hands of women and more

Zika Virus: Be Prepared with Ben's Tick & Insect Repellents

Littleton, NH. (February 2016) – With the recent announcement of the spread of the Zika Virus and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning pregnant women not to travel to areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, there is increased conversation around more

BIC logo

Gear Institute Announces the Best Outdoor Gear of 2014

Expert testers select Best in Class Award winners in 45 outdoor product categories Santa Fe, NM (December 18, 2014) – The Gear Institute, the nation’s largest web-based network of expert outdoor gear testers, today announces the winners of the prestigious “Gear Institute Best in more

Outdoor Research partners with Pertex to create first softshell version of Shield+

SEATTLE, Wash. – Engineered specifically to meet the demands of the modern freeride skier, Outdoor Research is poised to unveil a new men’s and women’s ski collection featuring a softshell version of Pertex Shield+, a first-to-market fabric technology for Fall 2014. This unique more


EORA Accepting Grant Applications

Asheville, NC — EORA is excited to announce the continuation of the Outdoor Opportunity Grant Program for 2016. Non-profit organizations with youth-oriented outdoor programs are encouraged to apply. The Outdoor Opportunity Grant Program was launched in 2013 in an effort to more


EORA Awards Grants to Youth Programs

EORA Awards Grants to Youth Programs Asheville, NC — With the goal of helping youth through outdoor pursuits, the Eastern Outdoor Reps Association (EORA) awarded seven youth-based nonprofit organizations with grants totaling $4,500.EORA’s Outdoor Opportunity Grant Program aims more

Pertex Logo

Pertex® Launches Pertex Shield AP and Lightweight Pertex Shield+

Montane and Rab Introduce Spring/Summer ‘16 Shells with New Pertex Fabric Technologies Clitheroe, UK – As demand for extremely-lightweight, weatherproof outerwear continues to grow, Pertex®, known internationally among outdoor enthusiasts for its extremely lightweight yet more