The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that during fiscal year 2012—October 2011 to September 2012— it stopped the import of some 4.8-million units of products that either violated U.S. safety rules or were determined to be hazardous. CPSC reported that the agency and its federal partner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, screened more than 18,000 different imported consumer products, nearly 1,500 of which were “violative and prevented from moving into the U.S. stream of commerce.”

The number of units stopped during the final quarter of the fiscal year was about 910,000, down from a high of some 2.8 million in the third quarter, but more than double the approximately 368,000 stopped in the second quarter, reported the agency. CPSC attributes the high number of units stopped in the third quarter to shipments of fireworks imported for Memorial Day and Independence Day. Children’s products that contain lead and phthalate levels in excess of federal limits and toys and other articles with small parts that present a choking hazard continued to constitute the bulk of products stopped in the fourth quarter of the year. See CPSC News Release, July 26, 2012.