Author Topic: Charity shop selling unearthed and dangerous travel adaptors  (Read 2819 times)

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Offline MrMobodies

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Charity shop selling unearthed and dangerous travel adaptors
« on: August 23, 2022, 12:16:20 pm »
I was looking in the charity shops today and found these travel adapters that accept an earth connection but doesn't have an earth pin just a plastic one and I thought these are not allowed to be sold in fact I remembered a documentary on these many years ago on some BBC investigation that looked at all sorts of stuff like dodgy Iphone chargers and travel adapters that do not conform to standards.

The shop workers did the right thing and took them off shelf but told me that they came from head office and they wouldn't have sent them if they were unsafe.

They asked me if I was an electrician despite explaining the purpose of an earth pin to ground to earth if it becomes live in respect to class 1 appliances but they seemed clueless and trust everything they are told by the "head office"


Accepts earthed UK plug and European too.


No earth just a plastic earth pin



This is the first time I have seen a charity shop sell something that like this and sent by their "head office".

I see "surge protector" on there but even if there is one what is that going to do missing an earth connection?

Just noticed "Internat ional" missed a space in there on the package.

Searching from the numbers I see it has it's on patents:
PAT200930196087.4
https://patents.google.com/patent/US20100311261A1/en
Quote
Inventor: Kuang-Hao Lee
Current  Assignee AHOKU TECHLAND ELECTRONICS Ltd
Nothing about earth in there.

https://www.snapdeal.com/product/internatinal-adaptor-allinone-ag-pat2009301960874/659433643515
Identical

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B01DJ140LQ
This has USB ports on it and surprisingly I see no negative feedback in terms of safety.
Changed to .co.uk but "page not found" so not fold here

https://www.ebay.com/itm/144361577020

Seems they sell in USA but got imported over.


Just found a Youtube video:

Universal Travel Power AC plug adapter AU/UK/US/EU
Panda Will  179,617 views 19 Jul 2010
Up:147 Down: 126

On second thoughts I should have brought one to tear it apart to check for that surge protector before reporting it.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2022, 07:22:19 pm by MrMobodies »
 
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Offline sokoloff

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Re: Charity shop selling unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2022, 12:33:52 pm »
despite explaining the purpose of an earth pin to ground to earth if it becomes live in respect to class 1 appliances but they seemed clueless
This phrase gave me an amusing image of how that conversation likely went with a charity shop retail worker... :-DD
 
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Online AVGresponding

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Re: Charity shop selling unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2022, 04:56:17 pm »
This is what happens when the education system fails to produce people capable of logical thinking and with a decent basic knowledge of how the world and the things in it work.

We're currently rewiring and partly refurbing a community hub/sports centre/library, and last week one of the young lads in the electrical team was doing some testing, and on one particular circuit, he couldn't find any continuity for the earth. The charge hand told him to leave it for now, get the rest of the testing done first, then go back to it.

Before he got the chance to go back to it, I decided to remove the spur in question, as the equipment it was nominally powering a.) didn't work, and b.) was redundant.
What I found was, that though in the spur there was an earth connection, the cable did not have the earth connected into the socket on the ring it was being supplied from... and I don't mean it had popped out of the terminal, I mean it had been cut off flush with the outer insulation.   :palm:

And yes, the PSU the spur was supplying was a Class I, metal bodied jobby (for powering a disabled assistance alarm).
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Online Gyro

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Re: Charity shop selling unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2022, 05:14:57 pm »
Amazon is full of 2 pin to 3 pin travel adaptors.

EDIT: Irrc, the main concern with that type is the possibility of reaching around and accidentally touching live retracted pins.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2022, 05:19:46 pm by Gyro »
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Offline Bud

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Re: Charity shop selling unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2022, 05:20:44 pm »
You may be shocked to learn that there are countries with no earth connection in mains wall sockets.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 
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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2022, 09:56:06 pm »
Found a teardown of this same exact one from DiodesGoneWild.
Credits: DiodeGoneWild

"Surge protector" lie:

Sounds to me very dangerous in that:
1. Exposed pins at the back are indeed live and present an electric shock hazard if touched behind.
2. If other pins are accidentally raised by pressing the buttons with it plugged in and they touch or lay against something conductive now isn't that a fire risk?
3. You can accidentally insert the British, Italian and European plug the wrong way where it becomes live on the pin that stick out and is an electric shock hazard.
4. No surge protection. The LED just has two resistors in series with it. So that is an absolute lie on the packaging and socket.
5. The shutters don't lock with an earth shutter so a child can poke things in there but I'd imagine they are more likely to get electric shocks elsewhere first like touching the live pins behind it.


Universal Travel Shock-dapter (Dangerous Adapter)

DiodeGoneWild 200K subscribers
19 Feb 2017  122,737 views UP: 1.6K DOWN 71


This is a clever universal travel adaptor with 3 different ejecting plugs. It is sold on Ebay for just $1. The problem is that you can eject more plugs at the same time. When plugged in, the exposed pins of the other plugs are live. It also defeats ground / earth. Ground is not being connected at all, but you can plug into it appliances that need to be grounded. You can also plug

Highlighted transcripts from video (Auto generated by Youtube and corrected some)

1:48 as you can see there is no ground there is just European path without ground u.s. or Australian plug without any ground and British plug is just a plastic ground plane because the British socket actually requires the pain to open the shutters of those two but it was just made of plastic it doesn't connect anything

2:21 like this one but that's absolutely nothing to prevent you from cutting appliances which has to be grounded like this Europe Iran you can easily plug it in is Italian one with the ground pin in the center you can plug it in and it's connected to nothing and the British one

2:45 you can easily plug it in and the ground is always being defeated you can also very easily plug it in the wrong way and this pin is becoming live

3:09 with this one at 12 and you can even plug the ground pin of the British plug into live and the entire metal cabinet of the appliance is now live and this is

3:31 stop here so let's stay in Europe just plug it in and what if you accidentally engage those British pains now yes their eyes so you just got an electric shock

3:34 plug it in and what if you accidentally engage those British pains now yes their eyes so you just got an electric shock in Europe and if you rock enough to be still alive you can fly to America and plug it in and again you exist engage those pains and again they arise so you'll have another electric shock and

4:11 of those pins are live now the European ones are live and the American ones are are live

4:17 and it claims to have safety shutters but they don't work at all you can stick up to anything into it even the ground pin or the British plug

5:48 there is an LED and this is 2 two resistors in series both 74 kilo ohm each in series and that's it

6:29 there is the shutter which is completely useless

6:54 there is of course no ground connection it's just empty plastic hole

6:58 it says surge protector but I already didn't find any need and this is how the
« Last Edit: August 23, 2022, 11:28:59 pm by MrMobodies »
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2022, 05:03:12 am »
I have found out that these have been recalled many times before and they sell under many different names:


Insten:
https://www.gov.uk/product-safety-alerts-reports-recalls/product-safety-report-insten-all-in-one-international-travel-adaptor-2007-0346

Sold on Ebay

Quote
Product Safety Report: Insten All In One International Travel Adaptor (2007-0346)
Published 25 March 2022
Recall/alert date:22 January 2021

Hazard
The design of the product allows multiple adaptor pins to be open at once. If in use, live parts are accessible presenting a serious risk of electric shock.

The product does not meet the requirements of the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 or the Plugs & Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994.

Corrective action
We recommend owners stop using this product immediately. Contact the distributor you purchased from to request redress.

ChargeWorx:
https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/2018/03/charge-worx-international-travel-adaptor/

Sold in Game stores
Recalled: 08 March 2018

Universal Travel Adaptor:
https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/2015/12/universal-travel-adaptor/

Recalled: 25 December 2015

I have reported to the Charity's head office and got a sensible reply after clarifying a few things.

I was told they were brought in good faith from a supplier based on conversations. They have withdrew them elsewhere so obviously they were selling these in other stores and now they are going to get it tested by a qualified electrician before approaching them to question what tests the supplier had done on it.

Looks like they trusted their supplier too much and now they have been betrayed into buying this crap.


I have found one on Amazon for £15.99
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Apark-Universal-Adapter-Worldwide-Converter/dp/B08NSTJV6R

Quote
Apark Universal Plug Travel Adapter Worldwide Plug Converter Adaptor All in One Wall Charger with USB EU UK US AU Plugs (White)

Adaptor All in One Wall Charger with USB EU UK US AU Plugs (White)
Visit the Apark Store
4.4 out of 5 stars    27 ratings
-6% £15.99
Was: £16.99
& FREE Returns
Voucher:   

Apply 5% voucher. Terms
Note: This item is eligible for FREE Click and Collect without a minimum order subject to availability. Details
Brand   Apark
Colour   White
Weight   100 Grams
Output voltage    240 Volts
About this item
INTERNATIONAL COMPATIBILITY - Apark World Travel Power Adapter Set Travel Kit Worldwide for Great Britain, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Hong Kon, Korea... Cover more than 150 Countries with US/EU/UK/AU plugs, good ideal companion for your trip (The Worldwide Universal Travel Adapter Plug has a scratch-resistant protective film on the surface that you can tear off before use.)
DOUBLE USB PORTS - Allows for charging USB devices. Upload your MP3 players, digital cameras, mobile phones, speakers and various other devices during your travels. allow you to plug-in two electrical devices (connectors). USB ouput, supports variety of the latest digital product
Compact & Portable - With all power pins retractable and weights only 100g, the plug adapter only takes little space to store. Easy to put in bag and best for home, office as well as travelers who frequently visit different countries.
CERTIFIED & SAFE - Apark power conversion plugs have passed CE and RoHS safety certification :bullshit: . Compact and lightweight design is convenient to carry while travel around the world. Make your trip easier with this little multifunctional travel adapter.
Universal International Power Adapters, Plastic parts adopt imported PC flame retardant materials, effective fire prevention. The universal adapter with usb port comes with plugs from four major countries, China, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union. come with 30-day money back and 12-month warranty.

Please Note:

1. This universal plug adapter is not a converter, it just converts the power outlet plug type, it does NOT convert electrical output current and voltage. Please make sure your device carries a electrical converter when you travel to other countries with different electrical output.
2. DO NOT use with Hair Dryers, Curling Irons or any electric appliance whose power is higher than 600W. It accepts earthed and unearthed plugs from dozens of countries.
3. Press the square button and slide to the USA or AUS plug, if you want to get the AUS plug, please rotate the contact blades to AUS plug.
4. Can't be used in South Africa and India. The shape of plug is different, need to buy a specific type if want to use in South Africa and India.

CE and RoHS safety certification.
That would be interesting when I report it.

I see on this listing no mention of the fake "surge protector".

 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2022, 01:53:53 am »
Of course they don't need fake surge protection. The poorly isolated death trap USB ports are bad enough. :-BROKE
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*
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Offline SL4P

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2022, 02:37:35 am »
The only thing they can add to the next version is BLUETOOTH.
I’m assuming it’s already DIGITAL, because it’s either ON or OFF. 😱
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2022, 03:35:06 am »
These garbage adapters are everywhere.

Last time I needed one the only place I found an earthed one was inside departures at Heathrow - and my, are Boots proud of everything they sell in there..
 
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Offline helio0centra@gmail.com

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2022, 02:33:28 am »
Big Clive calls them death-dapters because you can fit the ground pin in the live or neutral socket and make the whole metal body of your devices live at mains potential.
 
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Offline Bill W

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2022, 02:47:59 pm »
You know they are fake as the 'CE' mark is itself not compliant.

The C and E should make two *intersecting circles* if extended. 

What you see on these is the 'China Export' mark - guaranteed as 100% tat.  Unfortunately only the 'proper' CE version is protected by law, so having a 'fake lookalike' CE mark is actually legal.
Stupid EU lawmakers......

Bill
 
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Offline PlainName

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2022, 03:56:16 pm »
Quote
having a 'fake lookalike' CE mark is actually legal

But not being CE marked isn't legal, is it? So technically it doesn't matter - without the correct mark they would be illegal to sell.
previously known as dunkemhigh
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2022, 04:01:22 pm »
What you see on these is the 'China Export' mark - guaranteed as 100% tat.  Unfortunately only the 'proper' CE version is protected by law, so having a 'fake lookalike' CE mark is actually legal.
Stupid EU lawmakers......

This is an urban legend which originated in 2008 and was debunked (with limited success) in the same year.

Products bearing a CE mark with the wrong typography might well be legit, and just be labelled carelessly. And products which do not meet the harmonized technical standards are not legit when sold in Europe, whether they bear a correctly or incorrectly spaced CE mark, or no mark at all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_marking#%22China_Export%22
 
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Online james_s

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2022, 04:57:02 pm »
The lack of an earth pin doesn't seem like that big of a deal, most of the stuff one would be travelling with (phone and shaver chargers, laptop, etc) won't have a ground pin anyway. Here there are still many pre-1960s houses that still have at least some 2 prong receptacles, adapters that allow 3 prong plugs to be inserted have always been common. It's not ideal but you don't hear about people dropping dead. The fake surge protection and cheap construction seems like a bigger issue.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2022, 05:06:08 pm »
The lack of an earth pin doesn't seem like that big of a deal, most of the stuff one would be travelling with (phone and shaver chargers, laptop, etc) won't have a ground pin anyway.

Being that it does not prevent inserting a plug requiring a ground, it's a big issue.

Quote
Here there are still many pre-1960s houses that still have at least some 2 prong receptacles, adapters that allow 3 prong plugs to be inserted have always been common.

Yes, we're well aware no effort is made to prevent selling unsafe equipment to those not qualified to judge its safety in the US.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2022, 05:09:37 pm »
You don't hear about people dropping dead all the time here. Grounding is a good idea that adds additional safety in the case of a fault condition but properly working equipment will work fine without a ground. I just don't see it as a big issue, a travel adapter is not even something most people are going to use much. I don't really understand the obsession with safety much of the world including much of my own country has these days.
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2022, 05:24:58 pm »
Okay I have seen some travel adapters with a plastic pin being classed as a class 2 appliance on the unit and packaging and not to plug anything in that may require earth.

But when there are live parts around it like this particular one where it sticks out and someone could touch that couldn't be right.
 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2022, 06:45:58 pm »
I have to a agree that the title of this thread is misleading.  Dangerous implies to me that I have to take special care or precautions to avoid injury or death, and that even with these precautions I am at risk.  30KV lines with 20 A current capacity are dangerous.  This adapter is less safe than one with a proper ground, but it requires a combination of additional failures to cause harm.  When the term dangerous is applied to anything which might under some set of circumstances cause harm it loses its meaning and value.  Much like the vastly overused California warning that this product may contain cancer causing materials.  Which is applied to virtually anything including untreated pine lumber.

Members of this forum would be at almost zero risk from this device.  They might use it, but wouldn't use it with a worn and failing piece of equipment while standing in a grounded bathtub.
 
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2022, 06:48:29 pm »
I have to a agree that the title of this thread is misleading.  Dangerous implies to me that I have to take special care or precautions to avoid injury or death, and that even with these precautions I am at risk.  30KV lines with 20 A current capacity are dangerous.  This adapter is less safe than one with a proper ground, but it requires a combination of additional failures to cause harm.  When the term dangerous is applied to anything which might under some set of circumstances cause harm it loses its meaning and value.  Much like the vastly overused California warning that this product may contain cancer causing materials.  Which is applied to virtually anything including untreated pine lumber.

Members of this forum would be at almost zero risk from this device.  They might use it, but wouldn't use it with a worn and failing piece of equipment while standing in a grounded bathtub.

Put your fingers round the back of this thing when it's plugged in and tell me how it's not dangerous.
 
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Offline Bill W

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2022, 06:52:11 pm »
What you see on these is the 'China Export' mark - guaranteed as 100% tat.  Unfortunately only the 'proper' CE version is protected by law, so having a 'fake lookalike' CE mark is actually legal.
Stupid EU lawmakers......

This is an urban legend which originated in 2008 and was debunked (with limited success) in the same year.

Products bearing a CE mark with the wrong typography might well be legit, and just be labelled carelessly. And products which do not meet the harmonized technical standards are not legit when sold in Europe, whether they bear a correctly or incorrectly spaced CE mark, or no mark at all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_marking#%22China_Export%22

Hence my placing 'China export' in inverted commas. 
Urban myth or not, you see misshapen 'CE lookalike' marks on all sorts of items that cannot conform to any EN product standards as they are components, like a bare PCB.

However a carelessly labelled product (that meets the underlying technical standards) is still non-conformant, as it does not bear a CE mark, merely a distorted pretty picture of one.

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Charity shop selling unearthed and dangerous travel adaptors
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2022, 07:21:53 pm »
* Dangerous implies to me that I have to take special care or precautions to avoid injury or death, and that even with these precautions I am at risk. 

Put your fingers round the back of this thing when it's plugged in and tell me how it's not dangerous.

* As above yes you do have to take special care (not just with the earthing issue as in the title.)



I have to a agree that the title of this thread is misleading.
Thanks for pointing this out.

As I see now from interpretation that could be open from the title: dangerous because it is unearthed.
If that is what you mean, the maybe I should have titled it "dangerous" AND "unearthed" travel adaptors.

Sorry about that.
I'll change the title.

Titled changed to: "Charity shop selling unearthed and dangerous travel adaptors".

I do see some danger but not to the extent of the live exposed parts.
Just noticed from the URL that I did change it when discovered that the video.
Quote
charity-shop-selling-unsafe-unearthed-travel-adaptors/
« Last Edit: October 05, 2022, 07:33:49 pm by MrMobodies »
 

Online james_s

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Re: Charity shop selling unearthed and dangerous travel adaptors
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2022, 07:32:41 pm »
They are certainly "dodgy" and I wouldn't buy one, but if I happened to have one around it wouldn't bother me to use it.
 
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Online Someone

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2022, 09:24:38 pm »
You don't hear about people dropping dead all the time here. Grounding is a good idea that adds additional safety in the case of a fault condition but properly working equipment will work fine without a ground. I just don't see it as a big issue..
Says someone in a 110V country! Try those lax approaches on 240V and you get quite the shock, literally.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Charity shop selling dangerous unearthed travel adaptors
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2022, 09:43:14 pm »
Says someone in a 110V country! Try those lax approaches on 240V and you get quite the shock, literally.

I have spent time in a 240V country and did some electrical tinkering while I was there. I don't think using something that is maybe not the most well designed device is necessarily a "lax approach", I know better than to plug it in with live prongs sticking out, I wouldn't feel unsafe using it. 120V can be lethal too.
 


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