(NaturalNews) Clothing purchased new off the retail rack may be contaminated with potentially disease-causing organisms from bodily secretions, according to an investigation conducted by "Good Morning America."
The television program hired microbiologist Philip Tierno of New York University to culture 14 articles clothing purchased from three different high- and low-end chain stores in New York City. Several articles of clothing tested positive for bacteria indicating contamination with feces or other bodily secretions.
"On this black and tan blouse we found representation of respiratory secretions, skin flora, and some fecal flora," Tierno said.
Another jacket contained similar secretions, especially in the armpit and "buttocks" area, he said. One blouse even contained vaginal organisms and yeast in addition to fecal bacteria.
"Some garments were grossly contaminated with many organisms ... indicating that either many people tried it on or ... someone tried it on with heavy contamination," he said.
According to the "Good Morning America" report, the clothing probably became contaminated in changing rooms. Alternately, the supposedly new clothes might have actually been returned items put back on the rack without washing.
"The customer probably gets the wool pulled over their eyes," said former retail saleswoman Tori Patrick.
"A lot of people just come home and if it has a tag attached, they think it's brand new and they wear it. You really never know where it's been."
According to Tierno, the risk of becoming sick from wearing or trying on such contaminated clothing is rare, but real. Therefore, he recommends that consumers wash all new clothing in hot water or run it through a dryer cycle before wearing.
"In a sense, you are touching somebody's arm pit or groin," he said. "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."