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Safe, cheap mosquito repellent spray for your clothes, courtesy AU researcher

  Updated: Oct 29, 2019, 18:41 IST
Shivani Srivastava with Prof Sangita Srivastava. (HT)
Shivani Srivastava with Prof Sangita Srivastava. (HT)

An atomiser spray which is actually a mosquito repellent?

A few sprays of this ‘magic’ liquid on your clothes and not only do you keep mosquitoes at an arm’s length but you also manage to keep diseases like dengue, Japanese Encephalitis and malaria at bay. It has been developed at a cost of just Rs 40 for a 100 ml bottle. The best part of it is that you can wash your clothes more than 15 times and the repelling qualities of the spray will remain!

Shivani Srivastava, a researcher of Allahabad University’s home science department has come up with this formulation under the supervision of prof Sangita Srivastava, a professor of AU, presently serving as vice-chancellor of Prof Rajendra Singh (Rajju Bhaiya) University, Prayagraj.

The liquid has been prepared using extracts of a combination of essential oils of two aromatic plants easily available in the country, and therefore, quite affordable, said Shivani, who has recently submitted her doctoral thesis and taken her viva-voce examination.

Interestingly, there is no possibility of the mosquitoes developing a resistance to this spray repellent, as that is seen only in chemical-based repellents, Shivani claimed. Mosquitoes are unable to overcome the effectiveness of those repellents made from aromatic plants and their extracts.

The 30-year-old researcher who has also done her BSc and MSc (Textile and Apparel designing) from AU, said that it took her three years of research to come up with the perfect combination of ingredients for the mosquito repelling liquid and findings of whose effectiveness have been published in a number of reputed research journals with the latest being the ‘International Journal of Family and Home Science’.

“We decided to come up with an eco-friendly, side-effects free and affordable mosquito repellent liquid that could turn our clothes as mosquito repellents. Today, India is most vulnerable to diseases caused by mosquitoes, especially for those who are homeless and living on the roadside. In just UP, thousands fall ill due to mosquito bites every year,” Shivani said.

“The liquid is available as a spray and one needs to just spray the liquid on the clothes for long-lasting effect. It’s completely safe for the people and drives mosquitoes away, making the clothes a functional and protective skin against mosquito bites. The liquid has been tested on different fabrics including silk and woollen clothing and even after 15 to 20 washes it maintains its repelling qualities. It is also quite affordable as 100ml costs mere Rs 40,” Prof Sangita Srivastava said.

A poster on the research done was presented recently at a national conference organised by Central Institute of Medicinal Aromatic Plant (CIMAP), Lucknow and won the first prize as the best poster award also. “Now the process of getting the liquid patented is underway,” Shivani said, adding that the patent had been applied for just a few days before Diwali.

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