Ahoy, fellow Bargain Shoppers!  If you’re anything like me, you take great pleasure in picking up a cute, functional purse from Target or H&M or Forever 21.  What’s not to love?  It’s thrifty, fashionable, and you can wear the hell out of it for six months and then toss it, satisfied you’ve gotten your twenty bucks worth out of a bag you’ve enjoyed.  You’re not worried about leaky pens or loose tobacco or half-melted breath mints or snotty kleenex in your purse, because it was cheap to acquire and fun to carry.  Am I right?  I am so very right.

So here’s the bad news.  Apparently, those cheapo purses from which we derive great pleasure and utility are chock-full of THE CANCER.

Only four of the purses from my Target collection, actively trying to kill me

Only four of the purses from my Target collection, actively trying to kill me

 Here’s part of the total lady-bonerkiller from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The Center for Environmental Health filed the complaint in Alameda County Superior Court and sent separate notices to manufacturers of at least 26 brands notifying them that testing showed their products contain lead at levels high enough to pose a health threat. Most are vinyl and faux leather items.

Consumers may be exposed when they touch or handle handbags, clutches, wallets, purses and totes, the suit said. The businesses are in violation of the voter-passed Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, because they failed to warn shoppers, particularly pregnant women who are most at risk from exposure, the suit alleges.

Studies have shown that lead can cause cancer, birth defects and reproductive damage.

Motherfucker, you know?  Is there anything that DOESN’T cause cancer these days?  This is knowledge I didn’t really want to have, because it’s not going to stop me from picking up two new bags from Target when I’m next in the States:  the beauty of the Target bag in the UK is I gets tons of compliments and no one knows it’s from Target, much like picking up a purse from H&M whilst in Europe formerly earned you admiration in the US, before H&M crossed the pond.  Cheap purse, looks nice – how can you resist it?

Oh, right, back to the bad news:

Lead is found in vinyl and other fabric. The metal serves both as a stabilizer and as a chemical ingredient in some dies, paints and other coloring agents. It’s also found in zippers and zipper pulls on some of the products.

There is no safe exposure to lead, scientists say.

Young children are especially susceptible to the toxic effects of lead. They’re at greater risk when they eat food that is stored or carried in the products or touch or play with items that are carried in totes and handbags, the suit said.

I’ll tell you what, I give up.  I guess I’ll just wear handwoven hemp and subsist on a diet of hummus and berries from now on, because I swear to d-g, everything is infected.  There’s nothing pure anymore.  I don’t even want to homegrow vegetables because I’ll just find out that the dirt is tainted and the rainwater is filthy and nothing exists anymore that isn’t poisoned by some chemical byproduct that’s going to give us all THE CANCER.  We have ruined EVERYTHING.  Even hermits on the mountaintop are going to get THE CANCER and you know what, I’m not even fighting it anymore.  Bring on THE CANCER!

If you want to buy your own THE CANCER handbag, the following retailers were named in the suit:

Fluff, Aldo US, Ashley Stewart, Urban Brands (Ashley Stewart), Bakers, Chinese Laundry, Lulu NYC, Forever 21, Relic, Haddad Accessories, H&M, St. John’s Bay, Worthington, Nine & Co., Nine West, Apt. 9, Daisy Fuentes, Liz & Co. (by Liz Claiborne), Dana Buchman (by Liz Claiborne), Roxy (by Quicksilver, Inc.), Rosetti, Cul-de-sac (Sears), Steve Madden, Xhiliration (Target house brand), Urban Expressions, No Boundaries (Wal-Mart house brand), Fossil

I guess as long as my ladybits are rotting and my future children will have webbed heads, I may as well accessorize with a cute purse.