Scientists Say Unwashed New Clothing Could Contain "Fecal Germs"

You should probably start doing more laundry.

Get ready for some make-you-cringe shopping news. This week The Huffington Post reported that you should probably start washing the new clothing that you purchase because when you don't you're exposing yourself to some pretty serious bacteria.

According to Philip Tierno, Professor of Microbiology and Pathology at New York University, factors such as store turnover and size of the store certainly come into play, but that the general rule of thumb is to assume you’re not the first—or even the fifth—person to pull that blouse over your not-so-clean torso. And, after all, even if you knew that one very clean individual who you have no connection whatsoever to was the only person to have worn the garment before you, isn’t that enough on its own to consider washing it before you wear it in real life? We think so.

Still not convinced? The report also shared that Philip has conducted studies to test the number of bacteria on clothing from popular chain stores as well as high-end fashion brands, finding “norovirus, bacteria including strep and staph, and even fecal germs.” Pause for a shiver. Though he confirms that the likelihood that you’ll actually be infected by any of the above is unlikely, he also mentions that “the possibility is there, especially if you have broken skin from a cut.” What’s more, there are plenty of chemicals that the clothing has been treated with, even if no one in the world has touched it before you. And it’s those chemicals that are likely to irritate your skin or cause adverse reactions when you begin to include it in your go-to seasonal rotation.

The moral of the story? Wash your clothing before you wear it. Though risks of actually getting sick are still low, we, for one, think this report is enough to make us feel like we’re sitting in a petri dish of bacteria and harmful chemicals. Be right back: today just turned into laundry day.

Related: The Fashion Industry Isn't Doing Enough to Fix the Gender Pay Gap

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