Toxic toys from China seized at U.S. ports

Posted at: 11/19/2013 12:50 PM
Updated at: 11/19/2013 5:30 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have seized more than 200,000 toxic toys imported from China to eight ports across the country.

According to Customs, the toy dolls contained high levels of phthalates, a group of banned chemical compounds. Officers seized a total of 10 shipments valued at $500,000 from ports in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Norfolk, Va., Memphis, Tenn., Newark, N.J., Portland, Ore. and Savannah, Ga.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported the safety threat to Customs after finding high levels of lead and possible choking hazards in the dolls. Although dispersed across the county, officials flagged the shipments as "high risk" and were able to seize them at the ports.

The dolls could have ended up in toy stores across the country during the holiday shopping season.

"Using advanced technology to track certain shipments before they reach our shores is helping CPSC better protect America's consumers," said Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in a statement. "Expanding our port surveillance program is key to preventing injuries and achieving our long-term vision."