One of the traditions of Mardi Gras, at least in New Orleans, the Mardi Gras capitol of the United States, is tossing beads and anyone who has been to a Mardi Gras parade has come home with plenty of colorful strands. You might want to leave your Mardi Gras beads in the trees.

A study by and Verdigras tested over a hundred bead products for toxic substances and found lead in 64% of the beads, some as high as 100ppm.

We know you won’t eat the beads, but do you wear them? Do you wash your hands after touching them? Do you let the kids play with them. Mardi Gras beads are not toys and the Consumer Product Safety Commission does not regulate them as toys.

Researcher Jeff Gearhart of the Ecology Center found “We estimate that a single year’s inventory of Mardi Gras beads may contain up to 900,000 pounds of hazardous flame retardants and 10,000 pounds of lead.”

Those beads are not as harmless as they look.

We definitely have some Mardi Grad beads from previous years in our dressup and toy boxes. Guess it’s time to dispose of them safely!

We hope you had a fantastic Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras celebration, if you do celebrate. Our family had a very nice dinner of pancakes–nothing wrong with breakfast for supper!