DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- New concerns are being raised as two more parks in Durham tested positive for elevated levels of lead.
City officials closed one playground at Northgate Park after soil underneath unlined mulch tested positive for lead. Officials also closed a wooded area behind a fenced-in baseball field at Lyon Park after preliminary lab results identified one soil sample above the EPA 400 ppm threshold.
Durham resident Laura Kirby, who frequently visits the park with her kids, said she was shocked to learn that the playground was one of four parks with soil testing positive for lead in higher than EPA-safe levels.
"My reaction was mostly my kids are going to be really disappointed because we just talked about a spider web thing that they were going to climb on," she said.
Kirby said she has lived in an older home previously and makes sure her kids remove their shoes when they enter the home.
"Because we know that the soil around our old houses may contain lead," she said. "But never have I even thought about the fact that it could be in a public area, in the woods."
Across town at Lyon Park, parkgoers are experiencing the same situation. While the baseball field remains open, the wooded area behind the park is blocked off.
Neighbors next to the area said they are concerned following the announcement.
"I was born here. We moved here in 1958. My father had this house built here," Shirley Womble said.
She said neighbors have been worried over the years with a landfill nearby, and said a few years ago they were given kits to test their water, but nothing came from it.
"They say like I say, they send something out and tell you to test it. You sent it back and I guess you never did anything. So you think it's OK," Womble said.
Now families said they aren't taking chances.
"We just kind of stick to the parks that we know are safe, but we don't really have exact evidence that that's true. And then every time after the park we wipe their hands off and, you know, if they get really dirty, we change their clothes, take their shoes off before we go inside," Kirby said. "But that's kind of all we can do."
Six areas at East End and one area at Walltown Paks also tested positive for lead on August 3. The areas remain closed until further notice.
Last month, the Durham County Department of Public Health released a video online in response to concerns regarding lead levels at the park. Health Director Rodney Jenkins encouraged people to remove shoes prior to coming indoors, and wash hands after playing outdoors, adding that children younger than six years old are at heightened risk of lead exposure.
The final report is expected to be completed by August 15, and will include "short and long-term solutions in accordance with the EPA and NCDEQ".