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Table 1 Results of toxicity testing of DEET on animals reported to the USEPA[11]

From: Assessment of methods used to determine the safety of the topical insect repellent N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET)

Test type Animal Outcome
Acute oral toxicity Rat Oral LD50 = 2170–3664 mg/kg
   Toxicity category III: Slightly toxic and slightly irritating
Acute dermal toxicity Rabbit Dermal LD50 = 4280 mg/kg
   Toxicity category III: Slightly toxic and slightly irritating
Acute inhalation toxicity Rat Inhalation LD50 = 5.95 mg/kg
   Toxicity category IV: Practically non-toxic and not an irritant
Subchronic (90 day) oral toxicity Rat Renal effects found in exposed male rats of two of three strains tested so no NOEL established.
Subchronic (90 day) oral toxicity Hamster NOEL: 61 mg/kg/day
   LEL: 305 mg/kg/day
Subchronic (90 day) dermal toxicity Rat Renal lesions in all male rats treated so no NOEL established
Subchronic (90 day) dermal toxicity Micropigs NOEL: 1000 mg/kg/day
Chronic (2 year) toxicity Rats and dogs NOEL: 100 mg/kg/day
   LEL: 400 mg/kg/day
   No carcinogenic effects
Chronic (78 weeks) toxicity Mice NOEL: 500 mg/kg/day
   LEL: 1000 mg/kg/day
   No carcinogenic effects
Reproductive toxicity Rats NOEL: 250 mg/kg/day (highest dose tested)
Developmental and maternal toxicity Rats NOEL: 250 mg/kg/day
   LEL: 750 mg/kg/day
Developmental toxicity Rabbits NOEL: 325 mg/kg/day (Highest dose tested)