Samsonite Recalls ‘Tokyo Chic’ Suitcases After Cancer Scare

By Amir Khan on June 19, 2012 1:18 PM EDT

Samsonite
Samsonite, the world's largest suitcase manufacturer, is recalling over 250,000 'Tokyo Chic' brand suitcases after tests revealed the handles contained cancer-causing chemicals (Photo: Creative Commons)

Samsonite, the world's largest suitcase manufacturer, is recalling over 250,000 'Tokyo Chic' brand suitcases after tests revealed the handles contained cancer-causing chemicals.  The test, performed by a Hong Kong consumer group, found that the luggage contained polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a common pollutant released from coal, oil, gas and tobacco burning, which also causes cancer.

The Hong Kong Consumer Council found PAC levels in excess of 17,960 milligrams per kilogram, which is significantly higher than generally accepted "safe" levels.  

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Samsonite performed its own tests on the luggage and found it to be safe, with only 17 milligrams of PACs per kilogram. The company initiated a voluntary recall to assuage customer fears.

"Despite our absolute conviction that the Tokyo Chic luggage is completely safe, we have today removed Tokyo Chic luggage from our stock everywhere it is sold in order to immediately replace the side-carrying handles with new generation handles," Ramesh Tainwala, Samsonite president for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, said, according to MSNBC.

Samsonite maintained that the handles are safe, but said they would send out replacements to all customers.

"A human being has to eat 100 handles and then you have the probability of one in a billion chance of getting cancer," Tainwala said, according to CBS News.

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