adapterIn the United Kingdom, Officers of Trading Standards are warning consumers there, that electric adapter / chargers which have been imported from China are posing a potentially significant safety hazard to users. At this point, it appears that no similar warnings have been officially issued to American consumers.

Tests in the UK have shown that the charges, most of which are being used for portable gaming units such as the popular Nintendo DS and DS Lite machines, are prone to overheat or short circuit. A report from the BBC indicates that the units may not have been properly inspected at the point of manufacture. Officials state that the UK may be littered with hundreds of thousands of the substandard units. The BBC report also states that the death of one 7 year old boy, 18 months ago, has allegedly been attributed to a failed charger. What's worse, is that some of the chargers may even carry counterfeit safety certification markings.

Officials in the UK informed BBC that the offending chargers generally cost about one third as much as safe chargers do. Consumers would be well advised to consider the old adage; "You get what you pay for." Although there has been no mention yet of a full scale product recall on the offending units, it may be just a matter of time before China has to take "the big bite" on yet another consumer product category.

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