The concentration of PAHs found in the handles of the luggage was over 17,000 parts per million (ppm). How does that compare to your average coal tar-based pavement sealant which
have littered our American landscape?
Quite similar actually. The City of Austin found that coal tar sealants are typically about 50,000 ppm or just about 3 times more than what was found in the Tokyo Chic. Dust swept from parking lots with coal tar sealers comes in less with just over 3,000 ppm in research done by the US Geological Survey.
So what was Samsonite's response? Even though their own laboratory found significantly lower values, the company recalled 250,000 or so pieces of luggage. They owned the problem and didn't deny, distort or delay a response.
Wouldn't it be nice if the coal tar sealant industry learned something from this and recalled their toxic, coal tar pavement sealants across the US?