SPANISH police are warning of highly toxic bracelets being sold in markets across Spain.
Last week officers from the Guardia Civil’s Seprona branch found five bracelets at a medieval market in Soria while a dozen were found in Zaragoza during the annual Fiesta del Pilar celebrations.
The intense red and black bracelets are made with abrin seeds which can cause hallucinations, vomiting and even death.
The seeds are also known as “Indian liquorice” or “ladybird seed” and potentially lethal.
No antidote exists for abrin.
Just three micrograms of the toxin in the blood can lead to death.
The major symptoms of abrin poisoning depend on the route of exposure and the dose received, though many organs may be affected in severe cases.
Swallowing any amount of abrin can lead to severe symptoms as it attacks cells in the kidney, liver, adrenal glands and central nervous system.
The police warn the bracelets are even dangerous to touch as the toxin can be introduced into the body in small amounts through the skin.
Last July a score of bracelets, amulets and key rings were detected in a flea market in Llerena, Badajoz.
And in 2014 the Guardia Civil seized 184 pendants, 100 bracelets, 63 necklaces, 10 rosaries and 5,525 seeds for the manufacture of costume jewellery in Gran Canaria.