What is thought to be a fashionable handbag may actually be a witch's brew.

A beautiful handbag is an object of desire for every woman from all walks of life. Women are prepared to spend more on a handbag than on a holiday. Men may actually wonder what a woman would carry in her handbag, though they do not dare to invade the privacy. Handbags have thus become a vital fashion element of every woman. It is appalling to know that such handbags may contain toxic levels of lead.

Handbags are made using vibrant hues. Many of these colors use heavy metals to get an attractive look. Lead is a metal which is used in vinyl or other faux leather materials which is used for coloring the handbags. Women's health faces potential risk due to the lead content in their handbags. These pigments can impart lead into humans.

The Center for Environmental Health in US purchased handbags from big retail stores. The wallets and handbags were then analyzed using an x-ray fluorescence analyzer. The result was shocking that these bags had high levels of lead which was 90 times more than the federal limit for lead content in paints. The research was conducted with the purses bought from leading stores such as Kohl's, Macy's, Sears, Foreever21, JC Penney, and more. Though every color of handbag contains lead, the highest of them was from the bags with yellow shades.

Lead is one of the most poisonous metals on earth. The lead content in the handbags can be rubbed of easily with hands. This is likely to create serious health issues resulting in chronic fatigue, mood swings, cancer, strokes, heart attacks, blood pressure, and many more. A research even exposes a shocking fact that exposure of low levels of lead content may even lead to mental imbalance among young women. Exposure to lead during pregnancy can reduce intellectual development among children when they grow up.

Majority of the handbags are made in China. High levels of lead salts are added to stabilize the vinyl polymer. Manufacturers as well as retailers should take care that the products they make and sell satisfy the regulatory standards. Earlier there were no set standards for the level of lead content. But now, with regulations being more stringent, ceilings are imposed on the maximum level of lead which can be used in handbags. Centre for Environmental Health (CEH) is initiating a litigation making it mandatory for a warning label on the products which expose consumers to more than 0.5 micrograms of lead in a day.

Manufacturers have agreed to limit the use of lead in handbags and other fashion accessories. Big retailers such as Macy's J.C. Penney, Guess, and Victoria's Secret etc have signed an agreement to limit the usage of lead in their merchandise.


The way a right handbag could make a woman feel goes far deeper than just being a purpose of carrying things around. Taking care of the chemicals used in them will help to minimize health threats and enable conservationism. Bags and wallets made from natural materials would be a more preferable option.


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