Study Most Purses Contain Poisonous Chemicals

09.17.09 | FL News Team

American women may be toting around more in their handbags than they realize. The Michigan-based consumer watchdog group Ecology Center tested more than five-thousand everyday products for potentially toxic chemicals. It found that 75 of the 100 purses tested contained lead. Two-thirds contained more than 300 parts per million, which is the maximum amount of lead allowed in products made for children. While products for adults don't have to meet the same safety standards, research director Jeff Gearhart says they can still be very dangerous for small children and babies who play with and teethe on mommy's bag. The worst offender in the study was an orange number from Nine West. The purse contained lead levels of more than 57-hundred parts per million and had 450 parts per million of arsenic. The tests were conducted for the Ecology Center's new website,, which launched Wednesday. was designed to help consumers shop for products without toxic chemicals.