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‘It’s perfectly safe, it’s not toxic’ - parents reassured after black powder found in park

PUBLISHED: 16:51 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:46 27 July 2020

North Walsham Play has reassured parents after black powder was found on equipment. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske

North Walsham Play has reassured parents after black powder was found on equipment. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Casey Cooper-Fiske

A mysterious black powder found on a town park’s play equipment has caused concern among parents - but experts say it is safe.

North Walsham Play has reassured parents after black powder was found on equipment. Picture: Casey Cooper-FiskeNorth Walsham Play has reassured parents after black powder was found on equipment. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske

People took to Facebook to express their concerns after their children were covered in black dirt after playing on the play area at North Walsham Memorial Park shortly after it reopened following closure for lockdown.

One mother Danielle R said: “Me and my two kids found out that the park was open again, so we ventured out the first day it opened, and my daughter was dressed in a white dress, obviously I did not know about the black powder or I would’ve dressed her more appropriately.

“She ran off and I sat on the bench and after five minutes I realised that her face, her legs, her socks and her dress were all covered in this black powder, you can’t see it, but you can see it on the clothes.

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“I panicked because I originally thought this was ink that somebody had deliberately put it there, but it washes off the skin pretty easily, it’s just clothes and things it gets stuck on.

“Thankfully my daughter is fine, but it’s ruined the clothes.”

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Today Matt Smith of North Walsham Play, which fundraises for, and oversees the installation of play equipment at the park said parents had nothing to fear from the black powder.

He said: “Most parks up and down the country are experiencing the same thing, the park has been shut for 16 weeks during lockdown and during that time we had an exceptionally warm, dry spell of weather and that has caused a build up of mud and muck and it’s a rubber based product like a shoe or a tyre, so if they aren’t used they lose a very fine top coating.

“It’s perfectly safe, it’s not toxic, after the rain we’ve had and the wear and tear over the last few days I would be very surprised if it’s still there.”

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Julie Shields of North Walsham Town Council said: “This residue has come from the floor as the play area hasn’t been used for 16 weeks, we’ve contacted the manufacturers who have reassured us that there is nothing to worry about.”


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