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Issue 110 - January 2011 - Page 16

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Facebook Account Update Phishing Scam Email
  2. Facebook Change Profile Picture to Cartoon Character Paedophile Warning Hoax
  3. Inaccurate Warning about Fake $50 Australian Banknotes
  4. Driving With Snow on Car Roof Fixed Penalties Hoax
  5. Elephant Encounter Story - Not the Same Elephant
  6. Facebook Warning Post - Apps Sending 'Not Very Nice' Messages Using Your Name
  7. Google Romance Malware Email
  8. St.George Bank Phishing Scam Emails
  9. New Fall Hat - Image of President Obama Wearing an Acorn Hat and Smoking
  10. BT Service Cancellation Notice Phishing Scam
  11. Liverpool and Manchester Shopping Centre Bomb Threat Hoax
  12. Adobe Acrobat Upgrade Phishing Scam Emails
  13. The Amazing Typewriter Art of Paul Smith
  14. Indian Government Award Advance Fee Scam
  15. Slow Dance Charity Hoax
  16. Chinese Hair Bands Made From Used Condoms
  17. Baby With Facial Deformity Money for Forwarding Hoax
  18. F-15 Crash Sequence Images
  19. Tampa Bay Beach Sea Monster

Issue 110 Start Menu

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Chinese Hair Bands Made From Used Condoms

Outline
Email warns that cheap rubber hair bands from China may have been made from used condoms.



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message were reported as true in news stories published in late 2007. However, subsequent reports suggest that the hair bands were more likely to be made from unused condoms that failed to meet factory specifications rather than used condoms.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 16th December 2010
First published: 6th June 2008
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: FW: Chinese Hair Band - Condom

Grosssssssssssssssssssssssss

Just try to be careful when you are buying hair bands... who knows what it is made from.

Condom Hair Bands 1

These hair bands were made from used condoms and threads.

Condom Hair Bands 2

Condom Hair Bands 3

Condom Hair Bands 4

Used condoms are being recycled into hair bands in southern China, threatening to spread sexually-transmittable diseases they were originally meant to prevent, state media reported Tuesday.

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.




Detailed Analysis
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 users 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.

"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.
At the time, reports indicated that the used condoms were supposedly "recycled" before being made into hair bands but these reports did not specify exactly what this "recycling" process entailed. Experts who heard the reports warned that, if the hair bands were really made from used condoms, it was possible that the recycled rubber could still pose significant health risks to users.

However, subsequent news reports indicate that the hair bands were most probably made, not from used condoms but rather rejected - and therefore unused and comparatively clean and hygienic - condoms that failed to meet manufacturing standards. Soon after the initial reports were published in 2007, a Chinese reporter conducted further investigation into the claims and found that the rubber used in such hair bands was more likely to be recycled from condoms that had been discarded by manufacturers due to quality or production flaws that made them unfit for sale. The scenario of hair band makers simply collecting batches of rejected condoms direct from the manufacturers - probably at minimal cost - does seem much more logical and practical than the logistically difficult tactic of sourcing enough used condoms to make hair band manufacture a viable proposition.

That said, it cannot be completely ruled out that at least some cheap hair bands are actually made from used condoms, although it does seem quite unlikely. Certainly, China has gained an unenviable reputation for manufacturing and exporting dangerous or unhealthy goods in recent years, so consumers would do well to be wary of cheap hair bands and other products originating from that country.

Some later versions of the warning message tack on another circulating report that warns that cheap Chinese made rubber sandals (flip-flops) have been known to cause a severe skin reaction in some consumers.

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References
China recycling used condoms as cheap hair bands
Used Condom Hair Bands: China Takes Recycling Too Far
Dongguan Tousheng selling condoms continued
Flip Flops From China Skin Reaction Warning



Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 110 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Facebook Account Update Phishing Scam Email
  2. Facebook Change Profile Picture to Cartoon Character Paedophile Warning Hoax
  3. Inaccurate Warning about Fake $50 Australian Banknotes
  4. Driving With Snow on Car Roof Fixed Penalties Hoax
  5. Elephant Encounter Story - Not the Same Elephant
  6. Facebook Warning Post - Apps Sending 'Not Very Nice' Messages Using Your Name
  7. Google Romance Malware Email
  8. St.George Bank Phishing Scam Emails
  9. New Fall Hat - Image of President Obama Wearing an Acorn Hat and Smoking
  10. BT Service Cancellation Notice Phishing Scam
  11. Liverpool and Manchester Shopping Centre Bomb Threat Hoax
  12. Adobe Acrobat Upgrade Phishing Scam Emails
  13. The Amazing Typewriter Art of Paul Smith
  14. Indian Government Award Advance Fee Scam
  15. Slow Dance Charity Hoax
  16. Chinese Hair Bands Made From Used Condoms
  17. Baby With Facial Deformity Money for Forwarding Hoax
  18. F-15 Crash Sequence Images
  19. Tampa Bay Beach Sea Monster