What can happen to a toy company if their toys are found to be made with lead?

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    In August 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission began enforcement of new limits on the amount of lead that can be present in children’s toys. As a result of highly-publicized incidents in 2007 involving lead-tainted toys, the new rules make it illegal to produce or import products that have parts containing more than 300 ppm of lead in any area accessible to children. The penalties for violation are a maximum of $100,000 per violation, and possibly a $15 million fine for a series of violations. (The previous rules had a maximum of $8,000 per violation). The problem is that the CPSC is understaffed and, some argue, underfunded. The Import Surveillance Division which enforces these rules has only 11 employees to monitor the millions of products coming in from over 300 U.S. ports of entry. Rules alone are not enough; in order for rules to be effective there must be active enforcement.

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