Environment & Science
3:14 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Mardi Gras beads may present a health hazard

It’s Mardi Gras time. But there’s a warning for people who want to ‘Let the Good Times Roll’.

People will go to great lengths to grab a necklace of Mardi Gras beads. But the Ecology Center’s Jeff Gearhart says they should think twice.

The Ann Arbor environmental group tested beads from different sources and found many contained high amounts of highly toxic substances,

“Creating opportunities for people to be exposed to chemicals that range from carcinogens to things like lead which can cause learning impairment…can lower IQ’s and cause behavior problems,” says Gearhart.

Gearhart says the beads appear to be made from discarded personal computers and other types of consumer electronics.   It’s a type of global recycling that results in hazardous materials being reimported back into the U.S.