How Counterfeit Goods Can Kill

Counterfeit goods can kill you. That’s not an exaggeration, nor a clickbait headline. It’s the truth, as many sad and preventable deaths have proven. By buying untested, uncertified products, you could be exposing yourself to serious harm.


Counterfeit drugs

Without doubt, the most dangerous of all counterfeit products are counterfeit drugs. These counterfeit drugs can take many forms, for example, they are often dressed up as prescription painkillers.


Counterfeit drugs containing the highly dangerous opioid Fentanyl have been responsible for numerous deaths in the United States. The problem is widening with counterfeit drugs even being found in the home of music legend Prince, following the investigation into his death from an overdose of Fentanyl.


The danger of counterfeit drugs is not restricted to black market painkillers and has now reached epidemic proportions. According to the World Health Organisation, 100,000 deaths a year in Africa are caused by counterfeit drugs, whilst think-tanks such as International Policy Network estimate that up to 700,000 deaths a year globally, are caused by fake malaria and tuberculosis treatments alone.


Fake plugs and chargers

Buying a fake charger for your smartphone or tablet may save you a bit of cash in the short term, but firefighters warn you could be exposing yourself to a fire hazard and serious repercussions in the long term. The internet is awash with counterfeit chargers and plugs selling for a fraction of the price of their branded counterparts and it can often be difficult to avoid them. But avoid them you should, as they’re not held to the same safety and manufacturing standards as their manufacturer approved counterparts.


There are numerous reports of poorly made, replica chargers, overheating due to their inferior components and causing house fires. As well as fires, fake plugs have also caused dangerous electric shocks and other fake electrical items such as hair straighteners have been responsible for burns.


Marked down, make up

Yes, fake makeup is a thing, and it’s no surprise that putting untested, unknown products onto your skin is a dangerous practice. Mostly produced in squalid underground laboratories in China and Eastern Europe, fake cosmetics are on the rise.


The dangers of using such products are far ranging, as test results of seized counterfeit makeup has shown. Enforcement agencies have found dangerously high levels of bacteria and even metals such as lead, arsenic, copper and cadmium in counterfeit cosmetics. When applied to the skin, these products can have dangerous and even deadly results. It’s not only make up where you can fall foul of counterfeit products, there’s also fake shower gel and lotions to be found. Even sun protection lotion that actually contains no UV protection at all!


The good news

The good news is that avoiding the kind of dangerous counterfeit goods that could kill you, is not as hard as long as you pay attention to certain details. For consumers, it comes down to two simple points. If it looks too good to be true – it probably is, still applies, HOWEVER, today counterfeits could cost close to the price of the original.


Never heard of the seller before and they’re the only place selling at that price? Chances are they’re not an approved seller for the items in question and you can’t be sure of their origin. Manufacturer approved items also come with guarantees and undergo stringent testing, to help protect the consumer. So stay safe and help yourself to avoid counterfeit.

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