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Handbags carry high lead levels

April 19, 2009|Times Staff Reports

Dozens of vinyl and faux leather women's products from major retailers were found to contain high levels of lead, according to the Center for Environmental Health.

Testing by the group found lead in handbags, purses and wallets from Bay Area outlets of chains including Target, Macy's, Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Sears, JCPenney and Ross. Brands with lead traces included Nine West, Xhilaration and Rosetti.

Some items had lead levels up to 90 times higher than the federal limit, the group said. Though lead was found in handbags of all colors, the group said it was most prevalent in yellow, green and orange pigments.

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