The Louis Vuitton bag pictured here had the following readings when tested with an XRF instrument:
(Buckle Test Results):
- 5,019 ppm Lead (Pb)
- 666 ppm Mercury (Hg)
All other parts are non-detect for all of the baddies (Hg, Pb, As, & Cd.)
For context (since total toxicant levels in purses are not regulated at all) the amount of Lead that is considered unsafe in an item intended for use by children is anything 90 ppm Lead or higher in the paint or coating and anything 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate (like a base metal of an object.) While these purses are not all expressly intended for use by children, babies often play with, chew, or suck on mama’s purse (especially when kiddos are being carried on their mama’s hip) so I definitely do find these levels to be concerning in a purse like this.
I have tested MANY bags from this company and found similar results across the board. Nearly all have been positive for some amount of at least one of the four main toxicants I look for: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Arsenic.
July 2019 Update: The CEO of this company was just recognized as being the second wealthiest man in the world, worth over 100 billion dollars. I think this demonstrates that he has the resources to do something about this concern. I would love to see the company start with a public statement informing the public what years of manufacture might be a toxicant concern for their products. They could also then follow up with a commitment to make sure all of their products are toxicant free into the future (and then we could have a chat with them about a potential voluntary recall and replacement policy for some of their more egregious examples.)
Tamara, what do you use for a purse?
My rule of thumb for purses is to always use a washable cotton canvas bag (organic cotton if possible.) There are so many benefits to this, but it also keeps things simple, is less expensive than most other options and helps to make sure you aren’t introducing unexpected sources of toxicants in to your families lives.
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