Wednesday, 19 May 2021: At some points, we would have gotten gadgets; household materials and accessories that have been used, because it is believed by most Nigerians that fairly used items have higher quality than new ones.
Purchasing secondhand underwear, popularly called okirika or bend-down select, surely has it various health implications.
These clothing materials that has been in close contact and has touched the intimate areas of other people could be risky to our health.
CEOAFRICA checks revealed that underwear like; brassieres, panties, girdles, or waist trainers, vests, chemises, or singlet can easily be found at cheap and affordable prices at some sections of the market. We gathered that some of these undergarments are even washed, packaged and sold in boutiques.
Those who purchase these materials claim that they wash, laundry and iron them before use to kill germs and destroy any source of infection.
During the process of selecting preferred items in the pile of clothing, buyers are often in close contact with these secondhand clothing, some even wear them to check if it fits well before buying.
In the process of doing this, they inhale dust and the bacteria and fungi present in the clothes could latch onto their skins and clothesthey wore from home.
According to Doctor George Ogbu, a gynecologist consultant at Kelina Hospital, Abuja, when asked if these sets of clothing pose any threat to the health of people, he said; “One cannot categorically say, but it does because the state of a used clothes depend on the processing.
“We can never be too careful with used clothes whether undergarments or outer clothing. These clothes are gathered from different sources and for some people, they will just gather them, bundle them into sacks, and export them.
“Other people will take them through processing. Even at this level, there are different types of processing. Some people may just wash them, with detergent then package them and transport, others may wash them with detergent, pass them through the dry-cleaning process, and some may go to autoclave them.
“The autoclave machine was invented in 1879. It is a machine used to carry out a variety of functions including advanced sterilization.
“Autoclave helps to kill even the microspores that may be available on the clothes, apart from bacteria, there are fungal infections.
“One may not be able to destroy the bacterial and fungal present on these clothes with the minimal heat that we use to boil our clothes.”
Medical studies have shown the many health problems that this common habit of using second hand clothes can cause. Although, we might not get to notice them almost immediately, we are infected and when we do, we might admit we got some of these infections elsewhere.
Underwear can harbor a lot of unknown diseases. Hepatitis B, C, D and G is often transmitted through blood, sweat and Fluid of infected persons. Infections can be transmitted to a new user if adequate precautions are not taken before wearing them.
However, disinfecting fairly used clothes properly and ironing them as many times as possible before wearing can definitely reduce the risk but it is advisable not to buy or use fairly used underwear at all due to the stubbornness of the fungus that are involved, which many amount of ironing cannot totally kill.
CEOAFRICA gathered that if not properly washed out, chemicals sprayed on fairly used clothes to preserve them can also lead to skin infection.
Nigerians should desist from wearing clothing materials that has been in close contact with someone else no matter the amount of washing or ironing they plan to give it.
Nigerians need to note that many sexually transmitted diseases, are transmitted through body fluids (blood, sweat, urine, vaginal discharge etc.) and organisms responsible for these diseases have been isolated in clothes of their carriers.