Don’t Let The Flea Market Be A Threat To Your Health !
Because inflation is taking its toll on their pockets, a lot of people, here in Karachi, flock to shop at the makeshift weekly markets for saving some money on their household monthly budget where usually the flea market (Lunda Bazzaar) stalls manage to attract the most of the crowd. I have been visiting such flea markets since almost over 10 years where i shop for almost everything including art work, shoes, toys, clothing and professional kitchen utensils. but i have noticed a lot of people buying from such stalls don’t consider the fact that these items are usually used, even if they are seared they may have been stored improperly or may have been contaminated during storage or in transit and can pose a health hazard if not disinfected and washed properly before use. hare is your guide to what you should and should not buy and how to avoid exposing your self and your family to potential health hazards.
Toys, specially the stuffed ones are the most commonly sighted item at these flea markets, i have seen a lot of people buying them and handing them right away to the kids. We all know that Stuff toys are made of stuffed fabric, which is an absorbent martial, that means it will absorb any liquid they may come in contact with.The stuffing in these soft toys is usually of 100% polyester fiber, which is less absorbent but often at times these toys are stuffed with cotton which is a highly absorbent natural fiber. you must understand that these toys while been used previously, or during storage may have been exposed to chemicals, toxins, or fluids which may contain germs and may prove extremely lethal if digested. When ever you are buying stuffed toys make sure the item is washable. never hand over toys to your kids with out properly washing them with some and a germicidal like Dettol. Hard / Solid toys too may contain some contamination, or may have been exposed to some toxic chemicals so they too should be washed properly with detergent and Dettol before they are handed over too your kids.
Electronic toys, gadgets, and equipment too appear on such stalls in abundance, these items specially if they are toys should also be properly cleaned before they ca bee used. you can take an all purpose cleaner, or mild liquid soap mixed with Dettol on a damp soft cloth and wipe clean your electronic toy or equipment, leave it in the sun for an hour so if there is any liquid which may have reached the circuit can dry off before you can use it. The same rules apply for decorative item. You should always clean them with a germ disinfectant and soap before you use them,
Another sett of item which are not visible very frequently, but when ever they appear they go like hot cakes are baby diapers, sanitary napkin, tampons, and menstrual cups. Never Buy such items if the packaging is even slightly damage. examine the packaging very carefully because these are highly absorbent products, and even a slight contamination can cause a serious infection.
Another product which often attract the crowd is cosmetics. you must understand that used cosmetic products may contain germs from someone who may be suffering from a skin infection, they also may contain other chemicals, maybe someone tried to experiment with something and it didn’t work, a loose bottle or container may also get contaminated by some other leaking chemical. So never buy anything which is not completely sealed also Make sure it is not already expired when you buy such items.
and now one of my favorite items, Kitchen appliance, tools and utensils. Wood is a good absorbent, so i never buy any thing wooden for using in the kitchen, unless the item is properly sealed. when ever you buy pots, containers, spoon knives, chopping boards, make sure you not only wash them properly with detergent and Dettol, but also give them a good boil for a few minuted or steam them nicely before you can use them for keeping, processing or serving food. Don’t buy those mugs for kids which have straws because you cant really clean them and even boiling wont effect the inner surface of the straw, specially if it is twisted and turned in all sorts of shapes. same goes for those plastic thermoses which cant really be cleaned. Avoid Wooden Chopsticks unless they are in a sealed packaging. Check the packaging for any damages it may have. it is good if it is completely sealed or if it is a melamine one you can always always give them a good boil before you use them. For post and pans, after washing them with detergent and Dettol, fill them to the brim with water and let them boil for 5 to 10 Minutes, let them cool down throw the water wash them again with a dish washing soap before you use them.
Clothing are also a common attraction in such markets and a lot of people even purchase under garments from such markets, i don’t but if you want to make sure that you get them washed properly, with lots of detergent in warm water with germ disinfectant before you use them. the same applies for any other piece of clothing you buy from these markets, including blankets, quilts, bed seats, shirts, trousers, jackets, carry bags, purses and what so ever it may be it has to be cleaned properly before it can be used.
flea markets are a wonderful source of all sorts of items that you can find at a very affordable price but you just need to be a little cautious to avoid exposing your self to any health threats and make the most of these items.