The federal government on Friday indefinitely barred two companies based in Ridgewood and Bushwick from importing children’s products after learning that they had brought in items which contained hazardous chemicals and potential choking hazards.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde, Lily Popular Varieties & Gifts Inc. at 1710 Flushing Ave. in Ridgewood (formerly at 52-17 Flushing Ave. in Maspeth) and Everbright Trading at 1177B Flushing Ave. in Bushwick are prohibited from importing and selling toys and other children’s products until they take a number of remedial measures related to their businesses.
Rohde said that the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requested legal action back in June after collecting samples from the two businesses via shipments that arrived at the Port of New York/Newark and the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach in California.
Since March of 2013, federal authorities said, the CPSC collected a combined 169 samples of toys and children’s products from Everbright and Lily Popular Varieties and found that each of them failed federal safety standards. The violations included illegal levels of lead and/or phthalates, as well as small parts that present a choking hazard to young children who might ingest them.
The decrees bans Everbright and Lily Popular Varieties from importing, selling or distributing any toys or children’s products until the companies individually agree to implement a product safety and testing program; hire a product safety coordinator; allow for products to be independently tested by accredited organizations; and permit the CPSC to monitor their activities.
The ban, issued on Aug. 4, came through separate consent decrees that the U.S. District Court issued against Lily Popular Varieties and Everbright as well as their respective owners: Yuan Xiang Gao of Everbright and Li Jing and Cheng Feng You of Lily Popular Varieties.
“There is no greater responsibility of the Department of Justice than to protect our nation’s children,” Rohde said. “Today’s actions demonstrate the department’s commitment to keeping our children safe from potentially harmful products.”