Whimsical children's bags contained excessive lead levels
HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Houston Seaport in two separate incidents seized more than 6000 children’s backpacks and lunch bags after testing confirmed unacceptable levels of lead.
In both instances, the backpacks and lunch bags originated in China and were destined for the American marketplace.
In the first instance, CBP officers and a Consumer Product Safety Commission compliance investigator examined 1500 children’s backpacks and more than 4,000 lunch bags and determined that additional testing was warranted.
A sample of the shipment was sent to a CPSC laboratory for further testing. Those tests revealed lead in the metal zippers, ranging from 900 parts per million to 15,000 parts per million. The lead content threshold level under the Federal Hazardous Substance Act is 100 parts per million.
“These seizures reflect our commitment to protecting American consumers from hazardous, harmful products,” said CBP Port Director Dave Fluty. “Together with CPSC, we tirelessly search for imported products that may pose a hazard or safety concern for American consumers and we take the appropriate steps to ensure those items do not reach store shelves.”
In a separate incident, CBP officers and a CPSC compliance investigator examined a single carton of backpacks and determined additional testing was warranted. Tests conducted at the CPSC laboratory revealed excessive levels of lead in each backpack’s component parts ranging from 200-3,000 parts per million.
The backpacks and lunch bags were turned over to CBP seized property for destruction.
Import safety is a priority trade issue for CBP. In 2013, CBP opened the Consumer Product & Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence. More information about is available.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.