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The hidden dangers of thrown parade beads

This article is for everyone celebrating Gasparilla today. Enjoy but watch those beads!

Beads that are thrown at parades have been a popular for years. Whether they are thrown during small community parades, holiday events or major celebrations like Madi Gras or Gasparilla, they are the stuff of legends. You might think twice however if the beads are shared with children or those with impaired immune systems.

Recently, the Tampa Tribune tested beads from the Children’s Gasparilla parade and discovered measurable levels of bacteria, lead and Cadmium.

Even if the levels aren't high enough to be a major danger they can still make you sick. "Even exposure for a couple hours in a parade, there's a chance that maybe something could be on the beads that could be passed on to kids or adults, especially to those with maybe a compromised immune system," said Hugh Rodrigues, director of Thornton Laboratories, which conducted the testing.

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