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We have all been there, you’re in the changing room at one of your favorite clothing stores and you finally have a piece that you look amazing in! Why, SO amazing that you might just walk out of the store wearing it, or at the very least you will go home, hang it in your closet, and wear it within the week!

Unfortunately, this may not be the healthiest thing, or even the most sanitary, to do. In fact, when you don’t wash your clothes after buying them you just may be getting a little more than you bargained for. That’s right; it’s time to air the clothing industry’s “dirty laundry” so to speak, and find out how you can keep an eye out for your health when getting new clothes!

Potentially dangerous chemicals can still be on clothes

In the hopes of “preventing” bacteria or mildew from growing on clothes and to prevent wrinkles, often formaldehyde resin (you know that chemical they use to preserve bodies for funerals?) is applied.

Additionally, many synthetic fabrics get their colors from azo-aniline dyes which can cause a severe rash if worn by a person who is allergic to them. Even shiny finishes can be a potential irritant for those with sensitive skin!

Even natural fibres can still have potentially dangerous chemicals on them (avoid “PFC’s”)

100% natural cotton may still retain all the pesticides and residual chemicals from treatments unless it is organic.

Anything that is engineered to be “shrink proof” or “stainless” (Perfluorinated compunds or PFC’s are highly toxic to humans, animals, and are commonly found in “stainless” clothing) will have had some form of chemical throughout its process that got it into the store via the industry’s specifications.

You aren’t the only one who might have made a decision about the exact clothes you tried on in the dressing room

Indeed, those same clothes you decided not to get after trying them on and handed back to the changing room attendant just got neatly folded and put back on the shelf to purchase.

Multiply that by the number of people who try on or touch all the different types of clothes in the changing room, and sweat in them perhaps, and those very same clothes are the ones you are walking home with!

“New” doesn’t Necessarily mean “Clean”

It’s a common misconception that “new” means “clean”, but any type of bacteria from simple viral bacteria, to staph bacteria, and all the way to fecal bacteria are in the realms of possibility that a person who tried on a garment transferred onto it.

It is true that we have bacteria living all over our body, and though it is a bit disturbing to think about, you won’t necessarily get sick from continuing the questionable habit of wearing your new clothes without washing them.

That being said, it is possible for many potentially dangerous and harmful illnesses to be transmitted via clothing in this way, not to mention the problematic cocktail of chemicals that can come with your purchase.

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