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Concern remains over toys

AHOSKIE – The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has issued a press release detailing health hazards for toys given out at 27 public libraries, including ones distributed locally.

The NC State Library system originally notified libraries participating in summer reading programs, through which the toys were distributed, that the toys were found to contain unacceptable levels of lead.

The toys, bendable cats and dogs, were found to have lead content in excess of the .06 maximum safety limit for lead content.

The lollipop shaped toys; roughly 3.75 inches in length were distributed by the Ahoskie Public Library, the Sallie H. Jenkins Library in Aulander, the Northampton Memorial Library in Jackson and the Elizabeth S. Parker Library in Murfreesboro.

The Lawrence Memorial Public Library in Windsor, part of the Albemarle Library System, did not participate in the toy giveaway.

Branch Managers at the participating libraries that issued the toys have actively been contacting families of children who participated in the summer reading programs to warn them of the potential hazard.

Prolonged exposure to lead can cause serious and irreversible health effects.

Parents are urged to check their children’s belongings for similar toys.

The toys are stamped &uot;Made in China&uot;; no other identifying information is available.

Hertford County Public Health Director Curtis Dickson said that although his office was informed of the lead concern, he hasn’t had anyone come forward with any health issues.

&uot;We were informed of the toys by the libraries as soon as they were made aware of the potential hazard,&uot; Dickson said on Monday. &uot;So far we haven’t had a response but we still have our radar out.&uot;

Joann Jordan of the Bertie County Health Department said that although she was aware of a concern with some toys that had been distributed through the library, to her knowledge the issue had not been engaged by anyone in her office.

If parents are unsure where their toys came from, they can take the toys to their local library or their local health department.