Buying and selling of second-hand goods
The sale of second-hand articles occurs on a relatively large scale throughout South Australia. Retail outlets for second-hand goods fall into two categories;
- commercial enterprises
- charitable organisations.
Second hand goods can also be purchased at garage sales, car boot sales, fetes and on the internet.
Second-hand goods are often donated and are generally found to be in a good state of repair and cleanliness.
Second-hand goods are generally presented for sale in a good state of repair and cleanliness, but should be thoroughly cleaned before use.
Is there a risk to health?
There is a small risk of infection or infestation from second-hand clothing or bedding.
Bacterial organisms such as streptococci and staphylococci are very unlikely to survive on clothing or bedding in sufficient numbers and long enough to cause a health risk to the purchaser.
Parasites (including fungi) however, may survive for extended periods of time. While transmission of these organisms is also unlikely, some second-hand goods may result in a risk to health if they are not thoroughly cleaned before use.
See below for more information on the common parasites and bacteria associated with second-hand goods.
Common parasites and bacteria
The common risks when purchasing or selling second-hand goods includes:
- body lice which are uncommon in Australia
- public lice (crabs)
- head lice
- bed bugs
- school sores (impetigo).
For further information on buying second-hand goods, contact:
- Environmental Health Officer at your local council
- SA Health's Health Protection Programs on (08) 8226 7100 or email email@example.com.