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article imageGhana bans the sale of second-hand panties

By Kev Hedges     Nov 27, 2010 in Business
Accra - Shops and market traders in the west African state of Ghana have been told they can no longer sell second-hand panties or handkerchiefs.
The Ghana Standards Board have said that used duvets, mattresses, handkerchiefs and panties are unhygienic and could pose a health hazard. Although the ban was originally put in place sixteen-years ago it was never implemented. Some market traders say it will be bad for business. Much of the stock originates from unwanted clothing in Europe.
The BBC say, there is a huge demand for second hand clothing as it is considerably cheaper than locally produced new items. Many African countries sell used undergarments, often from Europe. In 2003, Tanzania banned the sale of second hand underwear after health officials there were concerned because of the possibility of users developing skin diseases.
Traders in the bustling markets of Ghana's capital Accra are worried though; Millicent, a trader in Kantamanto Market in the centre of the capital, said, "Ghana is a third world country; we've been doing this all along, so why are they talking about a ban now? The authorities should think again because our livelihoods are at stake."
Cynthia, another market trader said, "Second-hand underwear and other clothes we sell here at Kantamanto Market are better quality than new undies in the stores." Although she did admit some of the clothing is stained but buyers rummage through until they select the ones they want to buy.
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