“Public Health Concern”

…ZCSA/Mongu Council Seize Used Undergarments Valued at K15,670

By Francis Maingaila

LUSAKA, Zambia24 (22-05-2024) – In a significant crackdown on illegal trade, a joint team from the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) and Mongu Municipal Council has confiscated used undergarments from traders in Mongu. The seized items, valued at K15,670, included 1,420 pieces of underwear and bras.

According to a statement jointly signed by Brian Hatyoka, Acting Manager of Communications and Public Relations at ZCSA, and Abigail Sitenge, Assistant Public Relations Manager at Mongu Municipal Council, the operation took place on Wednesday, May 22, during a joint market surveillance inspection at Kashumba Market and the Town Centre of Mongu District.

“The Mongu Magistrate Court has issued a disposal order for the seized items, which will be destroyed shortly,” the statement read.

In addition to the seizure, ZCSA and Mongu Municipal Council used the opportunity to educate the public on the dangers and legal ramifications of selling used undergarments.

The statement emphasized that the importation and sale of such items are banned in Zambia due to health risks and warned traders to cease this practice immediately.

“Offenders may face sanctions, including seizure and destruction of non-conforming products, and prosecution through the courts of law,” a ZCSA spokesperson stated.

Consumers were also urged to purchase only new undergarments to protect their health.

This crackdown is rooted in a 2006 regulation where the Zambian Government, through Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 120, declared the standard for used textile products, including undergarments, compulsory.

“This regulation, ZS 559: Inspection and Acceptance Criteria for Used Textile Products, specifically prohibits the importation and sale of used items such as pyjamas, nightgowns, underwear, bras, camisoles, and vests.”

The statement highlighted that the compulsory standard was implemented to safeguard consumer health, as used undergarments pose significant risks, including skin rashes, fungal infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Poor hygiene practices related to these items can lead to the transmission of pathogens from previous to new users, increasing health risks,” the statement noted.

Moreover, the statement indicated that wearing improperly cleaned used undergarments can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin or pre-existing conditions, and such irritation can lead to discomfort and secondary infections from scratching.

The ZCSA and Mongu Municipal Council remain vigilant and committed to enforcing these standards to protect public health and ensure compliance with national regulations.

Note: I made some minor corrections to punctuation, grammar, and formatting to improve readability. I also added a few words to enhance clarity and consistency in the text.

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