Does Your Purse Have Lead In It?

Following CEH’s announcement that we are still finding the toxic metal lead in many handbags and wallets of popular brands and retailers, we’ve received a lot of media attention and interest from concerned consumers.

Our testing project is set to continue through at least March of 2013. Since our June announcement, we’ve continued to find lead in purses frequently. As a way to keep you updated about our ongoing work, we’ve created a Twitter account – @CEHPurseWatch – where we will be publishing toxic finds, including store and brand information and pictures, as well as sharing other interesting and relevant news. Additionally, you can stay updated on lead in purses and on the rest of CEH’s work through our brand new Pinterest.

CEH’s work on lead in purses also has received recent media coverage by CBS , NBC, and The San Francisco Chronicle, along with past coverage by ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and Good Morning America, and by several other local news teams around the country.

In our June press release, we announced that we had found lead in purses and wallets from 21 different retailers and 31 different brands, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Tory Burch, Bloomingdale’s, and Forever 21. The full list is included in the press release. Since then, we also have found lead in items from Wet Seal, Sears, Foreign Exchange, New York & Co, and The Buckle, and have pursued legal action with them. Nearly all of the retailers and brands that we’ve noticed so far have agreed to pull the toxic items from stores in California. If you’re out shopping and you recognize a purse or wallet as one of our lead-tainted finds, be sure to let us know! You can email Maggie@ceh.org.

Lead is particularly common in fashion accessories made of faux leather and other synthetic materials, and in bright colors like yellow, orange, red and green.  If you’re concerned that your purse or wallet might have lead in it, you can mail it to CEH and we’ll be happy to test it for you, at no charge (donations welcome!).  Just be sure to include return postage so we can send the item back to you.

Follow CEH’s purse testing project on Twitter: @CEHPurseWatch.

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