Samsonite Scare in Asia Over Cancer Causing Chemicals Prompts Company to Pull Suitcases

Between the Samsonite scare and the fecal bacteria on hotel remotes and bedspreads, it looks this Monday like the “staycation” is your best option this summer.

A Samsonite scare erupted in the past week in Hong Kong, and the international manufacturer of luggage has pulled their bags from store shelves due to concerns over carcinogens, though Samsonite insists the products are safe.

The Samsonite scare involves Samsonite International SA’s line of “Tokyo Chic” bags, and a local, independent consumer advocacy group in Hong Kong.

After the The Hong Kong Consumer Council alleged last week that side handles on suitcases sampled from the Tokyo Chic collection contained nearly 2,000 times the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) over safe levels in Germany.

So how did a Samsonite scare in Asia result from safe levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Europe? Germany is the only country thusfar to set safety guidelines for PAHs, making it the only official governmental regulation concerning the chemicals that sparked the Samsonite scare.

samsonite scare tokyo chic

Samsonite’s sales are way up in Asia, increasing 42% over the past year in the region. In response to the Samsonite scare, the company says that the handles of the Tokyo Chic line items as part of the American Tourister brand have been tested by the company as well, and that PAH levels came in way lower than the numbers cited by the Hong Kong Consumer Council last week.

Samsonite says, however, that after the scare, they will be replacing all affected handles on the Tokyo Chic line.