Toxin found in some purses and wallets
There could be a hidden danger in an accessory that millions of Americans never leave home without. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- There could be a hidden danger in an accessory that millions of Americans never leave home without.
The Center for Environmental Health found dangerously high levels of lead in purses and wallets. Lab testing revealed an excessive amount of the toxin in 43 out of 300 purses it tested.
"That's scary," says Princella Jackson, a self-proclaimed purse fanatic. "How we would we ever know? It's something I carry by my side every day."
"I had no idea," adds Michele Moses. "I would never buy a purse knowing it was toxic. I never thought I would have to look into that before making a purchase."
It's a dangerous discovery in the aisles of our country's most popular stores. It comes after hundreds of handbag manufacturers signed an agreement to severely limit the lead in their products.
"They should have to put a label on the purse, if it's going to contain lead," Moses says.
The concern is that lead from a purse can rub off on someone's hands or on the items they often use inside the purse. In turn, the lead has the potential to be ingested into the body.
"We find it really distressing, that some of these companies had this problem," says Michael Green, the Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Health.
The five purses that contained the most lead are made by Tory Burch, Guess, House of Harlow, Nine West, and Charlotte Russe.
Lab results showed the Tory Burch purse contained roughly 580 times the amount of lead that's allowed in children's toys.
"This is one of the highest levels of lead we have ever found in a consumer product," Green says.
Burch told ABC News she was appalled. She said her company has strict testing protocols and is doing a full investigation.
Nine West says it pulled the product in question from all stores. The other brands declined to comment
Researchers say the main things to watch-out for on purse labels are: vinyl, plastic, PVC, and polyvinyl chloride. Lead is used in those materials to soften them, and make colors last longer.
The safest bets are purses made of leather and fabric.
Click here to see whether you own a purse from one of the manufacturers.