Holiday Rubber Ducks Containing Harmful Chemical Seized
Thousands of rubber ducks decorated as Santas, snowmen, and other holiday figures have been seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and import specialists at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach over concerns that chemicals present in the toys may be harmful for kids.
The Associated Press reports that the customs agency worked with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to determine that the shipment of 36,000 Chinese rubber ducks should be seized because the toys contained high levels of a regulated chemical—phthalate—used to make vinyl and plastics soft and flexible.
The chemical has been known to mimic human hormones and interfere with the production and release of actual hormones. Studies have linked exposure to phthalates to male infertility, higher rates of miscarriage, obesity, and other reproductive issues.