Baltimore CBP, CPSC Seizes Children’s Toys Excessively Coated in Dangerous Chemicals

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Downtown city skyline and Inner Harbor at dawn, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

BALTIMORE – The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) warns consumers to be extra diligent while shopping online for children’s toys after Baltimore CBP officers seized a shipment of toys recently that were coated in unsafe levels of lead, cadmium and barium.

CBP officers and a Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) compliance investigator initially inspected the toys on July 16. The shipment of seven boxes arrived from China and included 295 packages of Lagori 7 Stones, a popular children’s game in India where children throw a ball at seven stacked square “stones.” CBP detained the shipment on August 24 and submitted nine samples to the CPSC lab for analysis.

That CPSC analysis revealed that the toys were coated in lead, cadmium and barium that exceeded safe levels for consumer products. CPSC directed CBP to seize the remaining shipment in accordance with the Federal Hazardous Substances Act [15 USC §1263]. CBP completed the seizure on October 4.

The toys were destined to an address in Fairfax County, Va.

“The health and safety of our nation’s children remains a priority concern for Customs and Border Protection, CPSC and all of our consumer safety partners,” said Adam Rottman, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore. “We hope that seizures like this helps to raise consumer awareness about the very real threats posed by seemingly safe children’s toys and we urge consumers to conduct their due diligence when purchasing holiday gifts online this year.”

The CPSC received reports of nine toy-related deaths among children 14 years of age or younger during 2020, and an estimated 198,000 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Of those hospital injury reports, an estimated 73 percent occurred to children 12 years of age or younger, and 40 percent happened to children four years of age or younger. View more from CPSC’s 2020 Toy- Related Deaths and Injuries report. Learn more about CPSC’s mission to protect U.S. consumers.

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CBP’s border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during “A Typical Day” in 2020.