Chinese Products branded as safe found to contain asbestos

This report from ABC News discusses a serious case of product safety, which is described by Peter Tighe, CEO of a safety organisation as …

“an emerging problem and it seems to be growing exponentially, as more and more products are brought into Australia, because of the wind-down of manufacturing in this country,” he said.

“What we’ve really got now is really an indication which could be the tip of the iceberg.”

As readers may know, we made a decision to no longer import water ionizers from China. It just wasn’t possible for us to supply what senator Nick Xenophon suggests is required; “certification of the supply chain”. The thing that really shocked us about this report was that the importer was assured by the Chinese manufacturer that the building material was asbestos free. We had the same problem; we had real trouble finding verifiable testing of materials and media, and a further problem of ensuring that subsequent orders of filter replacements were to the original specification.

Unfortunately, the free market system works well for some things and badly for others. After we gave up our Chinese made AlkaStream, the Chinese maker began selling it under a new name with a new Australian company. Unlike the UltraStream, which has EU safety certifications, the manufacturers this unit, still sold on e-Bay and in health stores, could not give us these ‘peace-of-mind’ assurances.

Of course, bringing in something that drinking water passes through and selling it without proof of safety is a risky business. Fines of up to $170,000 can be applied for illegal imports.

But.. it is cheaper.