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February 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

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Lead-contaminated toys seized at Seattle's waterfront

Posted by John de Leon

Thousands of toys seized last month at the Seattle waterfront were found to contain harmful amounts of lead, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Friday.

Officers from Border Protection and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) seized two containers holding 17,592 Fox Cleatus Robot action figures on Jan. 12. The toys, which originated in China, are valued at more than $96,000.

The toys were destined for a distributor in the Seattle area.

Samples were taken from the toys and tested by CPSC. The toys were found to contain unacceptable levels of lead in violation of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Laboratory analysis found the toys contained 1,800 parts per million (ppm) of lead; the acceptable level is just 300 ppm.

"While our priority mission is to prevent terrorists and their weapons from entering the country, we are also responsible for keeping a wide variety of harmful products from reaching the American marketplace," U.S. Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director Roland Suliveras Jr. said in a news release. "Lead-contaminated toys are one such product."

Cleatus is the name of the robot featured during the Fox network's NFL broadcasts.

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