5 On Your Side

CPSC Inspectors to Check for Unsafe Toys at Ports

Posted March 5, 2008 6:31 p.m. EST
Updated March 5, 2008 6:40 p.m. EST

— With 25 million toys recalled last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is trying to intercept unsafe products before they hit store shelves.

The CPSC announced Wednesday that full-time inspectors are being stationed at the nation's busiest ports. It will be the first time CPSC inspectors have worked side by side with U.S. Customs agents.

“The CPSC can now actually stop, examine and then either release or hold products,” said Julie Vallese, with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

While lead paint is a common cause of toy recalls, choking hazards are also a concern.

"You can't inspect your way to safety," Vallese said.

Along with toys, the port inspectors will target cigarette lighters, fireworks and electronics. Many of the items often come from China.

The Senate is also set to vote this week on a bill that would make product safety changes, such as a ban on lead in children's products and increased funding for the CPSC.