VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio
WRITTEN BY: Jordy McKen
How these products are still available we will never know. For this list, we'll be looking at items, that can still be purchased today, that have been proven to have terrible side effects. Our countdown of dangerous products that you can still buy includes Moon Shoes, Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory, Monster Energy Drinks, and more!
Top 10 Dangerous Products That You Can Still Buy
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Dangerous Products That You Can Still Buy.
For this list, we’ll be looking at items, that can still be purchased today, that have been proven to have terrible side effects.
Have you ever owned any of the products in the video? Let us know below!
#10: Moon Shoes
Marketed as “mini trampolines for your feet,” the original Moon Shoes sound like ideal footwear for kids and adults of all ages since being introduced in the 1950s. And the nifty equipment filled with metal springs really exploded in popularity in the 90s. However, while jumping high and walking with a bounce was fun, injuries weren’t uncommon. The shoes made the wearer’s feet unstable as they were locked into the device with straps. It was easy to twist, sprain, and even break ankles in Moon Shoes. Other injuries include falling on the ground after a bounce and grazing yourself. Most toy companies still sell Moon Shoes for around $35 if you want to take that risk.
#9: Magnesium Ribbon Rolls
Everyone has that memory of being in a school science lesson and a fatigued teacher bringing out a Bunsen burner and a roll of magnesium ribbon. Instead of another dull experience, we witnessed the teacher cutting a small section off and setting it ablaze to showcase a bright burn, wowing our young minds. Considering how highly flammable the rolls are, the warnings about looking directly into the burn unprotected, and the harm of breathing in the smoke, you’d think there’d be a license or a prohibition for people buying them for non-educational means. But no, weirdly not. Even Amazon sells 25 grams of Magnesium Ribbon Rolls for around $9.
#8: CSI Fingerprint Analysis Kit
When the TV show “CSI” and its spin-offs were in their heyday, kids and adults alike often wanted to experience what it’s like to wear the white coat of a criminal forensic expert. To help us realize this, the show released kits to give us a glimpse into how it worked. But one of the products, the Fingerprint Analysis Kit, came with a lot more danger. In 2007, the manufacturer Planet Toys issued a recall for the boxes as it was discovered that many contained two types of asbestos! One example of the forensic powder held a 7% tremolite, one of its deadliest forms! We’re not sure why you’d want to, but some obscure websites still sell the potentially dangerous kits.
#7: Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory
In 1950, with the rise of nuclear technology, toy manufacturer Alfred Carlton Gilbert decided to cash in on the popularity by releasing the interactive science set, the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory, for kids to learn about reactions for $49.50. Today, most people would assume that the product used alternatives to mimic radioactive materials. But no. Instead – for some reason – it contained the real deal with a selection of ore samples, including autunite, uraninite, and carnotite, with warnings not to damage the containers. While the danger lab hasn’t been sold since 1951 due to being unpopular, it became a highly-sought item by collectors. The auction house Sotheby’s has been known to sell them for $4,800.
#6: Toy Water Beads
For the low, low cost of $12, you can order a massive container of 50,000 water beads to play with! Just lob them in water to see the colorful sensory little balls swell into marble-sized gel spheres you can touch and play with! Sure, that might sound tempting, but the danger these items possess is definitely not. All over the world, there have been many cases of children, adults, and pets experiencing terrible injuries from the toy. In the US, between 2017 to 2022, there were 248 related injuries from the colorful blobs. There have been incidents of kids swallowing the beads, having them grow inside, causing an intestinal or bowel obstruction, and then needing invasive treatment to save them.
If your product has to undergo two different and drastic formula changes to keep selling due to the horrendous reactions people had to it, it’s probably best to stop. But that’s not the lesson dietary supplement brand Hydroxycut learned. In 2004, some of their products contained ephedra. But after the FDA realized a link between that plant extract and 155 deaths from heart attacks and strokes, ephedra was banned. So, Hydroxycut reworked its products. In 2009, the company recalled many products, and the FDA issued a warning to consumers after several cases of liver failure and one death were linked to the updated formula. After reworking the ingredients for the third time, the Hydroxycut still sells items for upwards of $21.
#4: Monster Energy Drinks
If warm beverages like coffee and tea aren’t your thing, but you need a pick-me-up, then energy drinks are probably your go-to. And while you will get a boost, there’s also a risk of something more sinister happening. In 2011, teenager Anais Fournier had two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy within a day. Sadly, due to underlying health conditions, she had a heart attack and passed away. Between 2009 to 2012, the deaths of five people were linked to Monster Energy. In 2013, the FDA reclassified Monster Energy as a beverage. Previously, it was known as a dietary supplement. With the switch, the company had to disclose how much caffeine was in each can. Today, you can buy the drink from most shops.
#3: Easy-Bake Oven
Most people remember playing with an Easy-Bake Oven or the irrational jealousy of your smug neighbor flaunting the baked goodies they made from the product. But in 2006, manufacturers Hasbro released a new version of the toy oven that had a front slot to put treats within. By 2007, even with attempts to fix a glaring issue, one million Easy-Bake Ovens were recalled after 249 complaints of children getting their hands stuck inside the door were issued, with many incidents of them suffering burns. One user suffered bad enough burns that they lost part of their finger. Even today, if you fancy getting your mitts on one of these dangerous ovens, eBay regularly sells them.
#2: Replica Weapons
Once you’ve been hooked on a piece of media, you might look to pick up merchandise about it. And one of the most popular is getting replica weapons. Items like a Batman’s Batarang, various blades from anime series, and film firearms are all available for purchase at conventions, shops, and online retailers with little to no oversight. But just because it’s a replica doesn’t make the weapon safe. On several occasions, armed police fatally shot people they believed had genuine weapons when they actually had replicas. While for other weapons, in 2013, Richard Reece in Oswestry, England, was sentenced to 12 years after fatally stabbing Danny Jones with a replica sword from “Lord of the Rings.”
#1: Tesla Autopilot System
In 2015, Tesla started implementing their own Autopilot system for their cars. By 2020, the Beta was released. Essentially, the system helped with some of the aspects of driving and was meant to limit the potential disaster of driving while fatigued. Eventually leading to Full Self-Driving capabilities. Instead, it’s provided a lot more problems than it solved. There have been many instances of the system not stopping when it should or not avoiding objects and people. In June 2023, it was discovered that since 2017, the Autopilot had caused 736 crashes, 17 of which were fatal. Part of the reason seemingly stems from the company stripping down the number of sensors on Tesla models to reduce costs.