Dangerous Levels of Lead Found on Items at H&M and other retailers

Discussion in 'Designers and Collections' started by lucy92, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. lucy92

    lucy92 Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Lead Found in Women's Handbags

    ABC News Exclusive: Retailers Agree to Test Purses for Lead Levels

    By LISA FLETCHER

    Jan. 22, 2010—

    A landmark agreement involving two big retail chains establishes, for the first time, limits on lead in women's handbags and wallets.
    The Center for Environmental Health went to 100 of the nation's top retailers -- including Target, Macy's, Wal-Mart and Kohl's -- and bought purses.
    The group had the bags tested for lead at an independent lab. Two separate tests were conducted. Some bags were wiped to see how much, if any, lead would simply rub off the material. The bags also were tested for the total lead content of the products.
    The tests came back showing disturbingly high levels of lead, the Center for Environmental Health said.
    "This is something every woman of child bearing age ought to be paying attention to," says Dr. Alan Greene, a lead expert and pediatrician at Stanford University.
    Lead can be found in many bags made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Some manufacturers find it useful in items like synthetic handbags, because it makes material pliable. It also can be found in some pigments because it makes bright colors last longer.
    "Manufacturers, importers and retailer chains have to ensure that the products meet consumer and regulatory requirements and they need to avoid ingredients in products that cause concern," says Allen Blakey, VP of Government Affairs for the Vinyl Institute -- a trade association representing the vinyl industry. "You can make PVC without lead. Most PVC made in Europe and North America does not have lead."
    The Center for Environmental Health says that nearly all of the bags tested were manufactured in China. According to the Center for Environmental Health -- in some tests -- bags had levels 30 to 100 times higher than the federal limit for lead in all children's items. That limit is the only federal limit on the books for lead in consumer products, other than paint.
    The concern with many of the purses is that lead can rub off of the bag and end up on people's hands, or on children's hands and then into their mouths.
    Greene said not everyone is equally affected.
    "Little kids put things into their mouth much more than others do," he said, "so that makes the years up to pregnancy, and during pregnancy and nursing, and early childhood, the key times of exposure."
    So how much lead can rub off a purse when touched? The CEH found levels of lead higher than California allows for a product unless it carries a warning label for cancer and birth defects.
    Lead has been implicated in a laundry list of health concerns, mostly for children, pregnant women and women who hope to become pregnant.
    Studies have linked lead to child learning disabilities and some have even linked childhood lead exposure to Alzheimer's later in life.
    "When it's something that Mom is carrying around with her all the time, it's rubbing against her clothes, it's rubbing against her kids, it's a place you don't" want to have lead, Greene said.


    Companies Agree to Pull Suspect Bags From Shelves in California

    The companies in the settlement -- H&M, New York & Company, and two suppliers -- agreed to pull suspect bags from their shelves in California, where the lawsuit was filed. Each company also will pay $37,000 that will, in part, pay to educate people about toxic health hazards and pay for tests on bags to enforce tougher lead standards going forward.
    H&M told ABC News it will enforce tougher standards globally. The company added it has had a ban in place on many toxic chemicals in its products, including lead, and that in this case, one of their suppliers violated company policy.
    The Center for Environmental Health told ABC News it is now in discussion with more than 60 major retailers and suppliers working toward a similar agreement. If that broader settlement with retail giants is achieved, it could mean tough new lead standards for bags in stores across the country.



    abcnews.go.com
     
  2. lucy92

    lucy92 Mod Squad Team Leader

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    I just bought a raincoat made of PVC at H&M. they are going back to the store.
     
  3. lafindesiecle

    lafindesiecle New Member

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    what is up with all these sensationlist articles about how all your clothes have lead / bacteria / vag fluids / etc on them? seems like it's the new journalistic trend!
     
  4. michyed

    michyed THE STRANGER

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    ^I like these articles. They are very eye-opening and informative. Plus, they really remind you to be careful when it comes to stuff like this... Better to be safe than sorry.
    But that's just me. I'm a huge germaphobe. :lol:
     
  5. ad041715

    ad041715 New Member

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    First we find out H&M destroys the items that aren't sold...now we learn that some of their items contained lead?? H&M is seriously no longer my go-to store.
     
  6. tullepen

    tullepen New Member

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    How is this not surprising?
     
  7. neonsprinkles

    neonsprinkles New Member

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    Interesting, I happen to be taking a Materials and Properties class. We went over chronic low level exposure to hazardous materials (such as lead). It's good to know because a little bit of lead exposure ONCE in a life time, I believe, isn't TOO bad. But if it's something you're consistently exposed to (or in this case, wear or carry around), chronic or repetitive low level exposures add up over time and can lead to serious illnesses.

    I really do hope H&M does their part on regulation.
     
  8. sethii

    sethii New Member

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    Good for 'The Center for Environmental Health' - hope that similar agencies in other countries will do these inspections.

    Scared to think what a primark bag is made of :shock:
     
  9. anissa imane

    anissa imane New Member

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    seems like the journalists are pushing for nudity to be the next big fashion trend... don't buy unsanitary clothes! the natural look!
     
  10. sethii

    sethii New Member

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  11. mikeijames

    mikeijames no tom ford, no thanks.

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    h & m needs a better public relations team.
     
  12. silk skin paws

    silk skin paws doldrums

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    It's alarming but I'm not surprised.
     
  13. The_Ida

    The_Ida In Bloom

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    That has only happened in two stores out of thousands of stores. And only in NYC. It isn't company policy, I can tell you that. So there's no reason to stop shopping at H&M, esp on an uninformed basis.

    I bet there's just as much lead in any other brand's clothes. And if not lead, then something equally harmful. One should really never wear clothes straight from the store, always wash them first...and then you should be fine, really. This is a load of BS imo.
     
  14. Bidwell

    Bidwell New Member

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    It's obviously not fearmongering from the center for environmental health.
    That people can desperately try to be bio and organic yet easily buy toxic clothing for the sake of a cheap price tag is beyond me.
    This is only the beginning of a trend to insource now that dubious manufacturing methods are being discovered from baby milk to toys and now clothes. It will make everyone realize there really is a price for everything (your life) and too much trust in overseas suppliers is not a good thing.
     
  15. Elle M

    Elle M New Member

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    I completely agree with you, Bidwell, well said :smile:
    If toothpaste and mouthwash are bad for your health so can Clothing, what's so hard to believe? Everything from cosmetics to food nowadays isn't what it used to be =(
     
  16. lucy92

    lucy92 Mod Squad Team Leader

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    people can't wash the lead out.

    in any case, bottom line. its illegal to have that much lead in the items.
     
  17. 50two

    50two New Member

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    I'm pretty sure you can wash cancer out as well.
     
  18. The_Ida

    The_Ida In Bloom

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    I didn't say that you could wash lead out. I said you can wash other equally harmful substances out, like the toxic crap they dye the clothes with. I still think it's a load of BS. There's more lead in the paint on your walls and in your TV than in clothes. And there are worse things out there than lead :innocent:
     
  19. KaraDanielle11

    KaraDanielle11 New Member

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    I guess it is a good thing that the closest H&M is an hour away and I really don't ever shop there!!!
     
  20. chloehandbags

    chloehandbags Active Member

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    Like what, for instance?
     

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