Officials warn that the condoms won’t likely work, and the materials could be hazardous.
Officials said that U.S. federal agents have confiscated 40,000 counterfeit condoms in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
On Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated that the condoms were manufactured in China. Food and Drug Administration and Homeland Security officials and Immigration and customs agents seized the counterfeit condoms over a period of five days.
The counterfeit condoms will likely not protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, according to federal officials warning, and the materials they are made with can also cause health problems.
The statement from customs said: “Counterfeit condoms, as well as cosmetics and beauty products, unlike legitimate brands, are not subject to strict quality controls and may contain substances that could lead to long-term health problems. In the past, seized cosmetics have been found to contain hazardous substances including cyanide, arsenic, mercury, lead, urine and rat droppings.”
Special agent Ricardo Mayoral who oversees Homeland Security investigations throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S., added: “The trafficking of counterfeit goods is simply illegal, and in some cases, as this, it becomes a problem of public health.”
ABC News reported that in 2013, after almost 5 million condoms with fake brand names were found as they were about to be shipped out of China, the huge international underground ring of counterfeit condom manufacturers was shut down in China.
110 million counterfeit condoms shipped to Ghana from China in the same year were confiscated. The Guardian reported that at least 1 million had been delivered to Ghana’s health agency to distribute.
A Ghana official told The Guardian: “When we tested those condoms, we found that they are poor quality, can burst in the course of sexual activity, and have holes which expose the users to unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.”