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The Hidden Dangers of Your Handbag

By MC Kelby HERWriter
 
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For years, doctors have been warning women about the excess weight of their handbags. Heavy handbags can cause shoulder and back pain and impact posture.
For example, the American Chiropractic Association recommended that women should avoid carrying purses that are more than 10 percent of their body weight. Use caution if you use a super-sized handbag, diaper bag or the gadget-heavy “man bag.” It is easy to overstuff these bags with unnecessary excess weight.

Linda Abrams of the Philadelphia-based Council for Relationships said, "The big purse full of stuff is not only a woman's home away from home, it's a reflection of the woman's role as caretaker. Women in general see themselves as natural caretakers and nurturers. They’re anticipating all the things that they might need or someone else might need. They want to be prepared, just in case."

Lead content in your handbag is another possible hidden danger. Recently, the Center for Environmental Health tested purses from 100 of the nation’s top retailers. Test results revealed disturbingly high levels of lead in the handbags. Women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children are at the greatest risk to lead exposure. Lead is toxic to many of your body’s organs and has been known to cause potential learning and behavior disabilities in children.

Also, purses can be hazardous in other ways. Purses can harbor a host of germs and bacteria. A recent study by Nelson Laboratories tested the cleanliness of women's purses. Study director and microbiologist Amy Karen found the results shocking. Four out of five handbags tested positive for salmonella. Also, handbags tested positive for E. coli which causes food poisoning, pseudomonas which can cause eye infections, and staphylococcus aurous which can cause serious skin infections.

Your handbag has the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat. When visiting public restrooms and at home use hooks to hang your handbag. Also, avoid putting your handbag on your desk, a restaurant table and on your kitchen counter top.

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

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May 8, 2014 - 11:50pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

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April 24, 2014 - 2:34am
Christine Jeffries

Very interesting article. We never stop to think about the germs that no doubt are present in and on our handbags. I also will now think twice about where I put it.

March 24, 2011 - 7:50am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Christine Jeffries)

This IS interesting! Great post, thanks!

I'm guilty of the over-sized handbag because I doubled it as a diaper bag. Since my youngest is now 4, I think it's safe to downsize! I think I just got used to large purses even though I can never find my phone when it rings in there, nor my keys.

At this stage, all I need is space for keys, wallet, phone, a little makeup, sunglasses and a book. With so little downtime, I take a book everywhere so no opportunity to read is lost! I have some gift certificates to Kohls and Macys. Hmmm..........

~Susan

March 24, 2011 - 9:57am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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