Question from Wendy
Can you tell me if it’s toxic to carry handbags made of these materials? I know I may need to find out more details about the chemicals but this is what I have so far.
Dyed Nylon with Water and Stain Resistant Coating
Dyed Italian Leather
Vachetta Leather Trim
Let’s take a look at each of the components of these handbags:
Nylon with water and stain resistant coating – Untreated Nylon is one of the least toxic plastics. It is still a synthetic fiber that is made from petroleum but there is little concern for its toxicity. It’s the treatment that is more concerning. It’s hard to say without more information but most stain resistant treatments are made with perfluorochemicals (PFCs) which can be highly toxic.
Dyed leather handle– the tanning process for leather can use 250 different chemicals including chromium which can be very toxic.
Nylon strap– If the Nylon is untreated it should be fine.
Polyamide– This is Nylon. If it is untreated it should be fine.
Polyurethane– There are different types of polyurethane. Read Debra’s post about polyurethane toxicity here. It is likely that this is a food-grade film which would have low toxicity, but you would need to confirm that.
Vachetta leather trim– This is vegetable dyed leather. Vegetable tanning does not use chromium which is a positive but since there can be 250 different chemicals used in the tanning process you might want to find out more about the specific chemicals used. Some vegetable tanned leather may use all-natural materials, but you would need to check to be sure.
Based on the information you have provided, it looks like Handbag #2 is the safer options, but more information would be helpful.