WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, working closely with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, seized last month a shipment of imported children's toy jewelry for hazardous levels of lead. The manufacturer's suggested retail price of the shipment was approximately $340,000.
The shipment was examined by CBP officers at the port of Chicago, in coordination with the local CPSC compliance investigator. CBP seized the shipment when a sample tested by CPSC was found to contain an amount of lead that exceeded levels allowed by CPSC requirements for children's products.
The shipment of toy jewelry coming from China was considered high-risk and had been targeted by the Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center in Washington, D.C.
"Our children deserve nothing less than the full authority and resources of their government to protect them from unsafe imports," said CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin. "CBP, working closely with the CPSC at the Import Safety CTAC, will continue to target and interdict unsafe and illegal merchandise before it enters our borders."
"Since 2004, CPSC has announced more than 50 recalls involving more than 180 million units of metal jewelry due to high lead content," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "The nation's child safety laws have been strengthened to ensure that manufacturers and retailers get the lead out of jewelry and other children's products, and CPSC is working closely with CBP to catch any violators before they put children in harm's way."
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires importers to test and certify that imports of children's products are in compliance with CPSC requirements. It is unlawful to import into the U.S. any children's product that contains lead with more than 90 parts per million of lead paint or more than 300 parts per million of total lead content.
According to CPSC, the adverse health effects of lead poisoning in children include neurological damage, delayed mental and physical development, attention and learning deficiencies, and hearing problems. Because lead continues to accumulate in the body, even exposure to small amounts can increase the level of lead in the blood and the associated health risks. Since 2004, CPSC has announced more than 50 recalls of metal jewelry due to high-lead content.
CBP and CPSC work in close collaboration to help protect public safety by examining, sampling and testing imported products that may be hazardous. The CTAC combines resources and manpower from several government agencies-in addition to CBP and CPSC-to protect the American public from harm caused by unsafe imported products.
For additional information on the CTAC and import safety, visit the CBP Priority Trade Issues site.
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.