Federal agents seize $38,000 worth of children’s toys with lead paint at Savannah port

Lead paint in toys is often thought of as a danger of the past, with the government ban on lead paint in toys in 1977 having effectively kept lead-containing toys off the market for decades. However, with the practice of importing toys comes the risk that they will not be up to government standards. This was the case in Savannah, Georgia, on Jan. 27, when federal customs agents seized $38,000 worth of playground toys determined to contain a dangerous level of lead paint.

The cargo had been delayed in the dock since October 28, 2014, when it had arrived from East Asia carrying 1,320 Wel-Bilt "Little Digger" playground toys. The digging toys were intended for use on playgrounds and in sandboxes and were modeled after a miniature backhoe. Initial field tests by the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed illegally high levels of lead paint on some of the toys. 

After lab samples confirmed the dangerously high lead levels, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were deployed to the port to seize the merchandise under the provisions of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, which allows customs to prevent potentially harmful and toxic substances from entering the country. 

Lisa Beth Brown, CBP Port Director for the port of Savannah, said in a statement, "The seizure of these extremely dangerous imported toys illustrates how the tremendous teamwork and cooperation between the Consumer Product Safety Commission and U.S. Customs and Border Protection protects the American public from potentially serious health and safety issues."

If you think your home may be contaminated with lead paint, contact Alban Inspections for lead testing today. Our certified home inspectors will help you identify lead paint in the home and determine strategies for removing it.