Consumers have been warned of the dangers of buying and drinking counterfeit spirits.

Some of the hundreds of thousands of bottles seized by Trading Standards have contained dangerous and potentially lethal substances such as chloroform, which can induce comas, ethyl acetate, used in glues, nail polish removers and cigarettes, and isopronal, an ingredient of car screen-wash and anti-freeze.

Counterfeit electrical goods can also be deadly, and exploding fake Apple iPhone chargers have caused serious house fires.

Consumer charity Electrical Safety First has also warned about fake GHD hair-straighteners, sold on the internet for 10% less than the normal price to allay suspicion, which can spark and catch fire during use. The charity warns that up to 20% of fake electrical items explode when tested and has some free advice on its website.

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