Ten different shipments of toy dolls made in China were seized by officials in November at several U.S. ports because the items allegedly contain high levels of phthalates – a group of chemicals considered dangerous to children. The operation to stop the shipments, which contained a total of 200,000 dolls, began in April through the U.S. Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC).
“Using advanced technology to track certain shipments before they reach our shores is helping CPSC better protect America’s consumers,” said Inez Tenenbaum, chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in a statement. “Expanding our port surveillance program is key to preventing injuries and achieving our long-term vision.”
The shipments – valued at $500,000 – were seized from the ports of Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Norfolk, Memphis, Newark, Savannah and Portland, OR. Officials did not name the manufacturer of the dolls. Port authorities flagged the shipments as high risk after CTAC identified potentially harmful commonalities in the items. Officials believe the items were shipped from China and intended to be sold as holiday toys.
“The Toy Industry Association (TIA) commends CBP and CPSC for their diligence and hard work at the ports to ensure that products violating strict federal safety laws never reach consumers,” said Ed Desmond, TIA’s executive vice president of external affairs. “We work year-round to ensure that toys are designed and produced with safety in mind. We support the efforts of these federal agencies to identify and seize products that could put a child at risk.”