The toys were given out at Tualatin and Hillsboro libraries during some sessions of their summer reading programs
by: submitted photo,

National warning goes out about 'criminal critters,' children toys with high lead amounts

TUALATIN - Tualatin, West Slope and Hillsboro public libraries have put out notice that the small bendable dog and cat figurines given out during some sessions of the libraries' summer reading programs contain high amounts of lead. The figurines should either be thrown away or returned to the libraries.

More than two dozen libraries in the state and other libraries throughout the nation were recently notified of the state of Indiana's Department of Health's findings on the 3 ½-inch figurines, according to Oregon State Health Department.

The Highsmith toys were distributed nationally as part of summer reading programs in libraries. The recall occurred once Indiana's Department of Health found that the toys contained .4 percent and .24 percent lead. The federal allowable level is .06 percent.

Tualatin's library gave out 120 of the bendable figurines. Tualatin library manager Darrel Condra warned that the children's toys have been flagged as dangerous.

If parents have seen a child chewing or sucking on one of the toys, health officials advise that parents contact their health care provider for a test to determine lead levels in their blood. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, high levels of lead can cause brain and nervous system damage and slowed growth.

According to a press release from Highsmith, recent tests on the toys conducted by the company showed the toys contained .277 percent lead. The press release added that a test conducted by the company in October found that the toys were safe.

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