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February 6, 1976  
Release # 76-009

CPSC Warns About Possible Anthrax Contamination In Imported Yarn

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 6) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in cooperation with Tahki Imports, Ltd., today warned consumers that they have found balls of yarn containing animal wool or hair that may be contaminated with anthrax spores.

The yarn, imported from Pakistan and distributed nationwide, utilizes animal and a combination of animal and synthetic materials and retails for between $4 and $7 per ball, and has been imported by Tahki Imports, Ltd., Teaneck, New Jersey, from Safraz Brothers, Lahore, Pakistan. The types of yarn include: 100% camel hair, white goats hair/ camel hair, gray goats hair/camel hair, black goats hair/camel hair, 2-ply wool, goats hair/wool, and rayon/wool. The contaminated balls have a label which says "Tahki Imports, Ltd., imported from Pakistan."

According to Commission investigators, the contaminated yarn appeared to have been offered for sale through many retail outlets over the last year.

Consumers who own this yarn should seal the yarn or products made from it in an airtight double plastic bag and call a local or state health department for disposal instructions. Consumers should not attempt to sterilize the yarn, incinerate it, or throw it away because of the risk of further contamination.

Anthrax is an acute bacterial disease which can be fatal for humans if untreated. It can be transmitted from a product bearing the anthrax spores mainly through skin contact and in rare circumstances through inhalation. Anthrax infection is-not contagious from one person to another.

While risk of dangerous human infection is low, the disease can be quite serious. The disease may start with a blister and can develop into a depressed area of dead tissue with a dark crust. Fever and other symptoms may not appear until the disease is severe.

This warning is being issued in the interest of the public health and safety and in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia.

The Commission is continuing its investigations to determine whether the contaminated yarn has been sold to other importers. For further information contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission toll-free hotline at 800/638-2772.

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