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Mardi Gras Beads Made From Toxic Waste?


mardi gras beads
Staff Photo

Mardi Gras is supposed to be a fun time. It usually is unless you do something stupid. Stupid can be defined as driving while intoxicated, allowing your children to cross over the barricades and eating your Mardi Gras beads.

I bet you didn’t see that last one coming did you? It seems that the Mardi Gras beads that are imported from China might contain toxic materials. In fact, some news reports suggest that the beads we throw and clamor for are actually made from toxic waste that is sent away from the United States. These unwanted materials such as lead,bromine, chlorine, cadmium, arsenic, tin, phthalates and mercury have been found in beads shipped in from China.

News reports suggest that 90% of the beads from China contain levels of toxic materials that exceed the standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The biggest concern is that these beads might be handled or eaten by children. Parents are cautioned to be mindful of small children handling beads for this reason. It’s also a good idea for everyone that handles beads to make sure they’ve washed their hands afterwards.

There are alternatives to the Chinese Mardi Gras beads. These beads are made from rice, burlap, ceramics and hardened paper. The biggest issue with these Zombeads is the higher cost compared to the Chinese beads.


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