Date Posted: 05-15-2013
Used clothes and gowns for rent can cause allergies and skin diseases. Photo captured from Pamilya OnGuard newscast.

MANILA, Philippines – The month of May in the Philippines is the time for the Santacruzan, a popular religious event held in almost every town and city in the country.

During the Santacruzan, young men and women join a parade in honor of Helena and Constantine for finding the cross in Jerusalem.

Women who join the parade wear beautiful gowns custom-made just for the occasion. But there are also those who opt to rent gowns instead or buy ready-to-wear ones at cheaper prices.

These rented and ready-to-wear clothes, however, can be breeding grounds for disease-causing germs.

In a test done by Pamilya OnGuard, a rental gown was checked using a luminometer, a device used to check the amount of microorganisms found in an object through the light that they emit.

The results showed that there are 1,781 relative light units in the rental gown -- significantly higher than normal, which is 500 for an uncontaminated object.

Poor hygiene

According to Dr. Willie Ong, an infectious diseases specialist, there is a high possibility that diseases and infections can be transferred through clothes.

“Pwedeng kuto, galis, impeksyon sa katawan. Kung hindi malinis 'yung baro, pwede ring magkaroon ng body odor”, explained Ong.

According to some owners of gown rental shops, there are some customers who rent their clothes who do not practice good hygiene.

“Talagang kailangan namin i-dry clean o ibabad man lang namin just to remove the smell,” said Ojie, a shop owner.

This results in disease-causing germs being left behind on the garments.

Clothes that have been stored in cabinets for a long time can also carry fungal spores.

As such, experts are advising the public to make sure that all their clothes, whether used or brand new, are clean before wearing them.

Washing clothes with an antibacterial detergent and soaking them in hot water can help in disinfection.

It is also advisable to have clothes dried out in the sun as the sun’s rays help in killing germs.