Deadly Jequirity bracelet warning is sent out to parents

Bracelets popular with children today sparked a warning to thousands of parents over fears they contain a toxic substance that can kill.

Deadly Jequirity bracelet warning is sent out to parents

Bracelets popular with children today sparked a warning to thousands of parents over fears they contain a toxic substance that can kill.

Staffordshire County Council is among a host of local authorities across the country that have sent out warnings about charms made from red Jequirity beans.

NHS health bosses say the beans contain the toxic plant protein abrin which, if crushed and eaten, even in small amounts, could kill.

Codsall Middle School put a warning up about the bracelets on its website today and also sent text messages to parents warning them of the toxic beans.

The bracelets have been sold at various tourist attractions across the UK, including the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The statement issued by Staffordshire County Council states: "The NHS has issued a warning to consumers regarding a poisonous bracelet which is on sale across the UK.

"The distinctive red and black bracelets are made from the Jequirity bean which contains the toxic plant protein abrin.

"The NHS is urging people who have bought these bracelets to bag them and wash their hands and avoid touching their eyes or mouth as exposure to even a small amount may be fatal."

It suggests anyone who comes in to contact with the bracelets should contact their local GP or call an ambulance.

There had been rumours on the internet that it was just a hoax but the Eden Project confirmed on their website that ingestion could prove fatal. The Jequirity bean is commonly used in jewellery in West Africa.

The toxin abrin is a controlled substance under the Terrorism Act which if swallowed can kill in doses of just three micrograms. It is chemically similar to ricin, a chemical warfare agent.

There are three recorded cases of Jequirity beans killing children.

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