Kenny Goldberg, KPBS, April 8, 2009

High levels of lead have been discovered in handbags, purses, and
wallets sold at major California retailers. The Center for
Environmental Health says some of the items had amounts of the toxin
that greatly exceeded the federal lead paint standard. KPBS Reporter
Kenny Goldberg has more.

The high levels of lead were found in vinyl and faux leather
women's purses and handbags. Lead was detected in products of all
colors. The accessories were purchased at Macy's, Target, and other
large merchants. 

Caroline Cox is director of research at the Center for Environmental Health. She says babies who are still in their mother's womb are especially vulnerable to lead.

"And so clearly, handbags and purses are something that young
pregnant women carry around with them all the time," says Cox, "And we
don't want to be increasing their exposure to lead for any reason."

 Cox's group has sent a letter to bag manufacturers saying their products violate the state's consumer protection law.


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