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California Women May Be Carrying Lead in Their Purse



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. 


Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.



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