Retailers agree to limit lead levels in handbags

Finally, some good safety news from manufacturers. The Associated Press (6/3) reported, “More than 40 major retailers and apparel makers have agreed to limit the use of lead in handbags and other fashion accessories, an environmental group said Wednesday. The companies will set new industry standards for lead use in their products as part of a $1.7 million legal settlement filed Tuesday in Alameda County [CA] Superior Court.” Michael Green, executive director of the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health, which filed the suit, “said he hopes other companies that make, import or sell fashion accessories will follow the health standards spelled out in the legal agreement.”

Lead exposure has been linked to a variety of health problems including higher infertility rates for women and increased risk for stroke, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Young children and pregnant women are particularly at risk.