Chinese Hair Bands Made From Used Condoms
CJaye | September 6, 2008 at 12:25 pmby
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According to this warning message, consumers should be wary of buying cheap rubber hair bands from China because they may have been made from recycled used condoms and could potentially expose uses to dangerous bacteria and viruses. The practice was reported as true in news stories published in late 2007:In the latest example of potentially harmful Chinese-made products, rubber hair bands have been found in local markets and beauty salons in Dongguan and Guangzhou cities in southern Guangdong province, China Daily newspaper said.Although the used condoms are supposedly recycled before being made into hair bands, it is unclear how thorough this process is and experts have warned that it is possible that the recycled rubber could still pose significant health risks.
"These cheap and colourful rubber bands and hair ties sell well ... threatening the health of local people," it said.
Despite being recycled, the hair bands could still contain bacteria and viruses, it said.
"People could be infected with AIDS, (genital) warts or other diseases if they hold the rubber bands or strings in their mouths while waving their hair into plaits or buns," the paper quoted a local dermatologist who gave only his surname, Dong, as saying.
A bag of ten of the recycled bands sells for just 25 fen (three cents), much cheaper than others on the market, accounting for their popularity, the paper said.
However, it is unclear how widespread the practice is and I could find no evidence to suggest that the condom hair bands are being exported and sold outside of China. That said, over recent years, China has gained an unenviable reputation for manufacturing and exporting dangerous goods, so consumers should certainly be wary of cheap hair bands and other products originating from that country.
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Last updated: 6th June 2008
First published: 6th June 2008
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