Feds seize Halloween items with too much lead
SEATTLE, Wash. (CNN) -- Some Halloween costumes are labeled a "trick" by the federal government, instead of a "treat" to wear.
Two shipments of children's pirate costumes were recently seized for containing 11 times the legal limit of lead.
Many thousands of shipments get diverted to a U.S. customs warehouse every year. There, they are opened and inspected for safety and for copyright rip-offs too, done by targeting certain shipments.
"Well there's a variety of reasons that we target. Previous violators would be one. Country of origin would be another. Destination of the product, who the product's going to in the United States,” said Doug McBride of U.S. Customs and Immigration.
That's when this gadget hit paydirt. The buttons on this Halloween costume had eleven times the legal limit of lead in them.
"15,000 products different products. And each one has its own scenario,” said Craig Mabie of the consumer Product Safety Commission.
Craig Mabie showed samples of stuff they catch before it enters American stores. There was an eyepatch, full of lead, that kids would put right up to their eyes. In a girls' jewelry kit, there were tiny beads, easily swallowed, that had too much lead in them. Even a fake cell phone had too much lead. Last year alone, they stopped more than 11-thousand shipments of lead-contaminated products.
"Yea, you go home at the end of the week knowing you made a difference, you really made an impact and kept some child from getting sick, or prevented some person's home from burning down,” said Mabie.
The shipments originated in China, and were destined for a distributor in the Seattle area.
The lead-contaminated costumes will be destroyed.