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June 21, 2012

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Samsonite pulls bags off shelves after cancer link

SAMSONITE International SA yesterday stopped selling its Tokyo Chic line luggage in Shanghai after high levels of compounds linked to cancer were found.

The company said customers who have bought the bags can get the handles replaced for free at Samsonite's Shanghai service center in Xuhui District at 1010 Huaihai Road M. Samsonite's after sales hotline is 400-887-0566.

In other cities across China, Tokyo Chic bags were also being taken off shelves and handles would be replaced for free, Samsonite said in a statement yesterday afternoon.

The luggage maker said it is taking the Tokyo Chic line off shelves worldwide to replace side handles after the Hong Kong Consumer Council found high levels of compounds linked to cancer.

It reported that a sample it tested had levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that were 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. The compounds have been known to cause cancer and birth defects in animals.

But Samsonite said its commissioned independent tests at German and Hong Kong laboratories showed levels "significantly lower" than the council's.

Still, it withdrew all luggage from the line to allay the fears of customers.

The Tokyo Chic line of suitcases is sold mainly in Asia under Samsonite's American Tourister brand.


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