A shipment of children s pirate costumes en-route from China to a distributor in Seattle will never make it to store shelves.
Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) and Consumer Product Safety Investigators (CPSC) were waiting for the shipment coming from a manufacturer with a bad reputation. They tested the Halloween costumes and found lead levels in the costumes buttons that are 11 times the legal limit.
In all, agents seized 229 cartons of 1,371 costumes. All of them will be destroyed. The shipments were valued at more than $10,000.
Lead can poison developing brains, and these costumes are marketed for young girls. Inspectors all over the country will now pull any shipments of the costumes from any port where they may have been sent.
Workers from the two agencies are constantly on the lookout for dangerous toys, whether it be from lead, another toxin or breakable parts that can choke a child.
I will do this ten times, said CPSC Investigator Craig Mabie as he dropped a plastic toy that broke into several pieces when it hit the floor. Since none of the pieces were small enough to it into a simulated child s throat, that toy passed the test. It also passed a scanner test that can instantly detect dangerous levels of lead and other toxins.
The agencies are on guard this time of year because so many Halloween and Christmas toys are coming in from producers around the world.