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New Clothing Crawling with Toxic Chemicals & Fecal Flora?

New Clothing Crawling with Toxic Chemicals & Fecal Flora?


The Temptation

Your favorite clothing store is having a 50% off sale. #blessings! You find the most gorgeous chic shirt and flattering black skinny jeans and *boom* they’re yours. You have a party that night and know JUST what to wear: your brand SPANKIN new outfit. You think for a split second, “well it hasn’t been washed…” but then you justify, “this is new! Washing not required.” You proceed to wear your new outfit all the while looking like a total babe. <<<  Is there any harm in wearing something new without washing it first? I know I’ve done this a million times… have you?


Washing Required

New clothes seem so crisp, fresh, and attractive. Not so, says Donald Belsito, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center. According to him, clean clothes really aren’t very clean at all! He has seen cases of lice, infectious diseases, and scabies passed on through clothing. New clothing has been handled by who knows how many people before they end up in your shopping bag: the people that manufacture the clothing, the people that ship the clothing, the people that stock the racks of clothing, to all the people who try on the clothing-each with unique germs, diseases, and bacteria. Don’t forget, “fungus can hang around for a while”.


Philip Tierno, Ph.D. director of Microbiology & Immunology at New York University uncovered some other disturbing compounds lurking on clothing. He tested a variety of pants, blouses, underwear, jackets, and other clothing and found:

  • Respiratory secretions
  • Skin Flora
  • Fecal Flora
  • Yeast

In his words, “In a sense, you are touching somebody’s arm pit or groin. So you want to be protected that’s all… You may not come down with anything and most cases you don’t but it’s potentially possible.”

Not surprisingly, underwear, swimwear, and intimates were the most heavily contaminated… yuck. Not so sexy anymore. Surprisingly, the number of germs is comparable in both high-end and low-end options. (So if you think your Louis Vuitton scarf is bacteria-free maybe you should think again about what else is hanging around your neck!)


Final Thoughts


In a poll I created on Instagram, only 39% of you said you washed your new clothing before wearing them! Sometimes it feels good to be in the majority.. but maybe not in this situation! It may require some patience and planning ahead (so you can still look like a total babe at your parties), but it's worth it to just wash the new shirt! Let me know what you think!  


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