ZCSA and Mongu Council officers seize used undergarments in Mongu valued at K15, 670

A joint team of officers from the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) and Mongu Municipal Council has seized used undergarments from traders in Mongu valued at K15, 670.

The officers seized 1, 420 pieces of undergarments including underwear and bras on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

This was during a joint market surveillance inspection conducted at Kashumba Market and Town Centre of Mongu District.

The Mongu Magistrate Court has since issued a disposal order and products will be disposed of soon.

ZCSA and Mongu Municipal Council also educated the public on the need to adhere to the ban on importation and sale of used undergarments in Zambia.

Traders are hereby warned to refrain from selling used undergarments as this practice may put the heath of consumers at risk.

Offenders may face sanctions such as seizure and destruction of non-conforming products as well as prosecution through the courts of law.

Consumers are urged to buy only new undergarments which are available on the market, to safeguard their health.

In 2006, the Zambian Government declared the Zambian standard for used textile products compulsory through Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 120 of 2006.

This compulsory standard prohibits the importation and sale of used textile products containing undergarments such as pyjamas, night gowns, underwear, bras, camisoles, vests.

The Compulsory Standard ZS 559: Inspection and Acceptance Criteria for Used Textile Products prohibits the importation and sale of used textile products containing undergarments and night wear.

This standard was declared compulsory to protect the safety of consumers because used textile products that are worn in very close contact with the skin may cause ailments such as skin rash, fungal infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

Further, due to associated poor personal hygiene practices, such as inadequate washing or sharing, used undergarments increase the risk of transmitting pathogens (germs) from first-hand users to the second-hand users.

In certain cases, wearing of used undergarments that have not been properly cleaned, might cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin, particularly for individuals with sensitive skin or pre-existing skin conditions.

Additionally, irritation and itching that results, can lead to discomfort and, in some cases, secondary infections due to skin scratching.

This is contained in a statement jointly issued by Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency Communications and Public Relations Manager Brian Hatyoka and Mongu Municipal Council Assistant Public Relations Manager Abigail Sitenge.

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