11:30am Wednesday 21st March 2012
PARENTS in west Dorset are being warned about a bead bracelet containing a deadly toxin that can kill even in tiny doses.
The distinctive red and black Jequirity bean bracelet contains abrin – similar to the chemical warfare agent ricin.
After a national alert from the Public Health Agency, Dorset County Council has sent out warnings to all schools in the county about the strung bean bracelet – which could be fatal if only three micrograms of the beans are chewed or swallowed.
A spokesman said the warnings were sent as a precaution and there had been no reports of school children coming into contact with the bracelet.
The bracelets are made from the deadly seed of the plant abrus precatorious, which contains the toxin abrin that if swallowed, has the potential to kill.
At least 36 retail outlets in the country were selling the bracelet, including the Eden Project in Cornwall, but according to the Public Health Agency none are now stocking it.
People who have purchased the bracelets are being urged to double bag them, then wash their hands thoroughly and avoid touching their eyes.
They should then hand the bracelet into their local police station where it will be disposed of safely.
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