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J Med Entomol. 1992 Mar;29(2):165-70.

Carbon dioxide released from human skin: effect of temperature and insect repellents.

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Medical and Veterinary Entomology Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Gainesville, Florida 32604.


Measurement with an infrared analyzer of CO2 given off by the hands of human volunteers under laboratory conditions showed that they continuously produced CO2 at the rate of 1.0-1.8 ml/h. Increased production of CO2 was observed with increase in temperature for all subjects. Treatment of subjects with three insect repellents or ethanol resulted in a short-term drop in CO2 production, after which it returned to pretreatment levels. Olfactometer studies showed no correlation between the amount of CO2 produced by hands and the attractancy of the subjects to host-seeking female Ae. aegypti (L.). The supplemental addition of five times the amount of CO2 given off by the hands did not affect attractancy of subjects to mosquitoes. The amount of CO2 released by hands is negligible compared to ambient levels of 300 ppm, and it is unlikely to be attractive at this level of release by itself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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