Counterfeit make-up containing 19 times the permitted level of lead and dangerous electronics have been seized by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
The department is warning consumers not to be caught out by Christmas counterfeits.
Branded goods often make the most popular Christmas presents, but they are also the goods most often faked.
Trading Standards Officers are regularly dealing with complaints about fake branded goods that are not safe to use.
The team’s tests on counterfeit versions of Mac, Benefit and Naked Pallet lip gloss, eye shadow, eye liner, skin powder and other facial cosmetics revealed they contained poisonous heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, copper, cadmium and lead. Some had a lead content that was 19 times higher that their permitted levels.
Internal wiring and fusing in counterfeit branded hair dryers was so cheap that in tests, the product overheated. Fake electrical items often do not have a thermal cut off, so when they over heat they catch fire.
Fake Chanel perfume contained chemicals that can cause skin irritation and tests on counterfeit Chanel and Pandora jewellery revealed high contents of cheap metals that can also cause skin irritation.
Warwickshire County Councillor John Horner, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:“Fake branded products are manufactured with the emphasis on low unit costs rather than consumer safety, so it is unsurprising when so many counterfeits are unsafe.
“However, there is now a website that can direct consumers to sellers of genuine branded products. www.brand-i.org is a directory website set up by Trading Standards nationally to allow consumers to locate brand owner approved shops.”
“I would urge consumers to shop safely this Christmas and follow the advice of Warwickshire Trading Standards.”
Warwickshire County Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee added: “In its work with Border Force, Warwickshire Trading Standards has already prevented thousands of dangerous counterfeits reaching shop shelves. Trading Standards will continue to work with partners to tackle the sale of counterfeit and unsafe goods, protecting consumers and the livelihoods of legitimate businesses.”
Trading Standards Advice
1) Use www.brand-i.org to locate on-line sellers and high street stockists of genuine branded products.
2) Report the sale of counterfeit goods to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506
3) Many counterfeit branded products are also unsafe. Don’t take the risk. If an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is.
For more advice and information on purchasing products and what warning signs to look out for, go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/consumeradvice