Seattle- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigators have seized a shipment of children's shoes for containing three times the legal limit of lead.
The shipment originated in China, and was destined to a distributor in the Seattle area. The shoes are valued at more than $23,000.
The shipment was targeted by CBP staff for an intensive examination, in which samples were taken from the shipment. The samples were tested by CPSC, and were found to contain unacceptable levels of lead in violation of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Laboratory analysis found the shoes contained 300 parts per million (ppm) of lead; the acceptable level is just 100 ppm.
"One of CBP's missions is keeping a wide variety of harmful products from reaching the American marketplace," said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director Mark Wilkerson. "Lead-contaminated children's footwear is one such product."
CBP works with CPSC to prevent hazardous or harmful products from entering U.S. ports and reaching American consumers. In fiscal year 2011, 9,119 shipments of lead-contaminated products with an estimated domestic value of more than $24 million were seized by CBP in coordination with CPSC at ports of entry across the country.
This shipment of lead-contaminated shoes ultimately will be destroyed.
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.