Fake replicas of a popular United States-made water bottle has been making the rounds in Hong Kong, prompting experts to warn consumers about its potentially toxic chemical content.
Knock-offs of Citrus Zinger, a dispenser that makes it easier for users to drink self-made lemonade, are selling for HK$39.90 (US$5.14) against HK$240 for the original.
Citrus Zinger has sold more than 10,000 units in Hong Kong in a few months.
It features a rotator inside the bottle for squeezing lemon. Water can be added to the juice to make instant lemonade, which its makers claim is effective for skin whitening, fat absorption and detoxification.
The product is licensed to Zing Anything, a Taiwanese company.
Pirated versions have been out on the market in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, complete with laser tags and bar codes. They even have a website, the report said.
But the production process and chemical content of the bottle cannot be verified because it has not gone through licensing procedures.
Professor Chris Wong, acting head of the department of biology of Hong Kong Baptist University, said the fake bottles might contain toxic chemicals.
These could be released when hot water is poured in, as suggested by agents who say mixing it with Chinese dates produces a health drink.
Citrus Zinger warns against the use of hot water.
“It’s dangerous because we don’t know what the bottle is made of and how it was manufactured,” Wong said.
Plastic products could discharge chemicals such as plasticizers and bisphenol A which can cause cancer and reproductive anomalies, the report said, citing medical experts.
Zing Anything said consumers should check the certification label before buying the product.
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