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Samsonite announces global luggage recall over chemicals

HONG KONG -- U.S. company Samsonite said Tuesday it was pulling its Tokyo Chic luggage from stores worldwide after a Hong Kong consumer group found parts contained high levels of chemicals that may cause cancer.

The move was initially limited to Hong Kong but the company said the entire inventory of its American Tourister brand's Tokyo Chic luggage would now be withdrawn from shelves “everywhere the product is sold.”

The recall would allow the Hong Kong-listed company to replace side-carrying handles containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) with “new-generation handles.”

Samsonite President for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East Ramesh Tainwala said the move followed a report by the Hong Kong Consumer Council last week saying certain Samsonite suitcases contained unsafe levels of PAH.

The council said the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department had advised agents for suitcases with high PAH levels to “stop the sales of the concerned model and to replace the handles.”

Tainwala said the company's tests found PAH levels that were “significantly lower” than those reported by the Consumer Council, and there were no health concerns associated with the company's products.

“What matters to us above all else is that consumers have the best possible experience with our products,” she said in a statement explaining the worldwide recall.

“We want our customers to enjoy their Samsonite luggage and to have the utmost of confidence in its functionality, design and safety.”

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