Brisbane Lifestyle

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The doctor's itchy underpants and Australia's consumer protection laws

This is a cautionary tale about a man not washing his undies, his horrible rash and a snail.

While it sounds comical, the irritation in an Adelaide man's pants in 1931 set an important legal precedent in many Commonwealth nations.

The principles established still stand today and may even explain the tiny warnings on clothing tags suggesting you wash a garment before wearing it.

As policy debate rages about consumer protections, how did the "itchy underwear case" shape our laws? How bad was that rash? And what about the snail?

An illustrated advertisement of a family wearing woollen underwear, appearing to be from the 1900s.

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