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Schools across Hampshire are being told to be on the lookout for a bean bracelet which has been made from a deadly plant - if swallowed it could kill.
The Jequirity bean bracelets have been on sale at various retail outlets across the UK. It is made from the deadly seed of the plant abrus precatorious. It contains the toxin abrin that if swallowed, has the potential to kill in doses of just 3 micrograms. Abrin is chemically similar to ricin, a chemical warfare agent. People who have bought, or are in possession of the bracelets, are being urged to bag them, then wash their hands and avoid touching their eyes.
Schools are being asked to keep an eye out to see if any children are wearing one of these bracelets. If they do find some, they're asked to put them in a sealed bag and send it to:
Hampshire County Council
Trading Standards Service
Hampshire Trading Standards were recently advised by the trading standards authority where the importer was based in Suffolk, that there was a possible retailer in Hampshire. On further investigation, it emerged that three sales had taken place from one store in the New Forest area last Summer, but subsequently the bracelets were taken off the shelves when the store recently learned of the warning from their supplier.
There have been no incidents in Hampshire, however Trading Standards wish to ensure that parents of children that may go on school trips outside of the county for example, are aware of the possible dangers.
Should anyone suspect that these bracelets may be on sale elsewhere in Hampshire, they should contact Trading Standards.