WASHINGTON, D.C. – A federal district judge has issued injunctions against four California companies and six individuals barring them from importing, selling and distributing children’s products containing hazardous levels of lead and phthalates and small parts.
The companies include Toys Distribution Inc., dba TDI International, of Los Angeles and its owners Loan Tuyet Thai and Lan My Lam, and manager Paul Phuong; S & J Merchandise Inc., of El Monte, Calif. and its owner Cuc T. Thai and manager Tom Liu; BLJ Apparel Inc., of El Monte, Calif., and its owner Luan Luu; and All Season Sales Inc., of Montebello, Calif. and its owner Tom Liu. The owners and managers were sued as company officials and in their individual capacity.
The federal government alleged that the firms and the individuals share significant business and/or personal ties and violated the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act by knowingly importing hazardous children’s products into the United States. TDI and S & J Merchandise imported children’s toys with illegal lead and phthalate levels and small parts. BLJ Apparel imported children’s products and toys with illegal levels of lead and small parts and infant rattles that could cause choking or suffocation. All Season Sales imported children’s toys with illegal lead content.
“CPSC and our federal law enforcement partners are committed to keeping dangerous toys out of the marketplace all year long,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “Manufacturers, importers and retailers need to know that CPSC and the U.S. Justice Department are actively enforcing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a law that has strengthened the nation’s product safety net.”
CPSC collected and tested dozens of samples of the four firms’ children’s products and toys as they attempted to enter the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach between 2008 and 2013. CPSC issued repeated Notices of Non-Compliance to the firms and their officers, notifying them that their products violated federal standards.
One of the cases resulted in a joint recall. CPSC and TDI International announced a recall of 150 “high speed” pull back toy cars in January 2009 due to excessive levels of lead in the surface paint, a violation of the federal lead paint standard. Most of the other products stopped at import were not distributed to consumers.
The cases were prosecuted on behalf of the CPSC in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by the U.S. Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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