U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the LA/Long Beach Seaport seized 5,202 counterfeit refrigerator water filters from China in July.
The filters seized were worth an estimated $224,202, according to the CBP release. Since October 2018, CBP at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport in California have seized almost 170,000 products, including counterfeit replacement refrigerator water filters, under-sink ion exchange filters, pool and spa filters, and water filters.
According to a study conducted by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), counterfeit refrigerator water filters pose a serious risk to consumer health and safety.
Using fraudulently copied trademarks, branding and misleading claims make the filters look legitimate, but they can fail to remove lead and other contaminants from water. In some instances, harmful chemicals are introduced into clean water. Human senses cannot always detect microbial and organic contaminants lurking in the water that can seriously harm a consumer’s health, reported AHAM.
“It is incredibly difficult for consumers to spot counterfeit filters – and they are widespread online,” said AHAM Spokesperson Jill A. Notini. “5,200 counterfeit filters equates to more than 33 million glasses of potentially unsafe water that could have been put into the hands of Americans across the country.”
In order to raise consumer awareness, CBP has established an educational initiative at U.S. airports and online about the consequences and dangers that are associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign is available at fakegoodsrealdangers.
“Protecting our communities from untested and potentially harmful imports is paramount for CBP,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles. “The risk is the consumer inadvertently may be exposing their family to drinking water that is not up to industry standards.”
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