Investigators for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are on the job at the nation’s ports of entry.
During the second quarter of fiscal year 2012, investigators screened more than 3,700 imported products and prevented more than 360,000 units of what are called “violative” and hazardous imported products from reaching the hands of consumers.
CPSC port investigators, working with Customs and Border Protection agents, successfully identified 319 different consumer products that were in violation of U.S. safety rules or found to be hazardous, between January 1 and April 30, 2012.
In the first half of the fiscal year, investigators screened more than 6,600 imported products at ports of entry and prevented more than one million units of violative or dangerous products from reaching consumers.
Kids products top of the list
Continuing to top the list of products stopped were children's products containing levels of lead exceeding the federal limits. This was also the leading category of products stopped in the first quarter.
Second was children's sleepwear that did not meet the federal flammability standards.
Toys and other articles with small parts that present a choking hazard for children younger than three years old also continued to be prominent in the second quarter.
In addition to violative toys, children's sleepwear and other children's products, other significant shipments stopped at import included noncompliant fireworks and mattresses.
CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said the proactive work at the ports shows CPSC is on the front lines protecting consumers.
"CPSC investigators are standing shoulder to shoulder with Customs and Border Protection agents and working to prevent defective and violative products from ever reaching store shelves and the hands of consumers," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
She also said consumers can be confident that the state of product safety is strong and built to last, noting, "the pilot risk assessment methodology that we are testing is aimed at early detection and targeting of high risk products and repeat offenders at import. "I believe this will make CPSC even more effective in using our limited resources."
Fiscal 2011 record
During fiscal year 2011, CPSC inspected more than 9,900 product shipments at the ports nationwide and stopped almost 4.5 million units of violative or hazardous consumer products from entering the stores and homes of U.S. consumers.
CPSC has been screening products at ports since it began operating in 1973.The agency intensified its efforts in 2008 with the creation of an import surveillance division, and again in 2011 with the creation of the Office of Import Surveillance and Inspection.