Samsonite Recalls 250,000 Suitcases

Photo via Creative Commons.

Samsonite International issued a voluntary recall of 250,000 “Tokyo Chic” suitcases because of possible high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a compound known to cause cancer and birth defects during animal testing.

Samsonite pulled the line from Hong Kong stores Monday to replace the side handles after the city’s Consumer Council reported that a sample it tested had levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons higher than recommended in voluntary guidelines.

The compounds are commonly found in plastics, rubber and lubricating oil, and it’s possible that traces were left during manufacturing, the council said. They’ve been known to cause cancer and birth defects in animals.

The council’s tests gave readings for the compounds that were off the charts at 17,960 milligrams per kilogram.

But Samsonite commissioned independent tests from German and Hong Kong laboratories that showed levels were “significantly lower” than the council’s findings.

Those tests found 17 milligrams per kilogram of the compound, said Ramesh Tainwala, Samsonite’s Asia-Pacific and Middle East president. Los Angeles Times. 19 June 2012.

The company said that tests done by an independent laboratory showed much lower levels of the compounds, well within safe ranges.