What is this growth on china product with harmful chemical?

Reply Sat 3 Aug, 2013 10:59 am

Hi, I am not a chemistry student but was recently presented with a rather disconcerting situation which I am hoping someone from the chemistry world can help shed some light on. I purchased a china made wallet at a discount store. Upon bringing it home and more closely examining my purchase I noticed a note within which read (accompanied by the strong sharp odor of some china made products) "warning: this product may contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer birth defects or other reproductive harm". This of course was startling. My first thought was that vinegar removes odor, perhaps it will neutralize the chemical. I placed the wallet overnight in a ziplock full of white vinegar. In the morning it was removed, rinsed and propped up to dry. That evening I noticed a white and rust crystallized substance appearing on sections. At first I thought it was from an unrelated source so I rinsed it and again left it to dry. The second day it was back and increased in size and amount of this white and rust colored crystalized growth. My apologies for his long description but I am seeking information on first, how harmful really is this chemical? Should I be concerned that it was in my kitchen sink? Second if it is harmful, is there a way to neutralize its effects from other products which may have it that I already use and own? Am I being unnecessarily concerned? Much thanks to any contribution shedding light on this.

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Reply Sat 3 Aug, 2013 11:12 am
What is this wallet made of? Leather, vinyl, plastic, cloth, combination of these?

I think your vinegar treatment has much to do with the white substance.

California has more restrictive environmental policies than most other states. I see that warning in light bulbs and other types of products coming from China.

Still, the smell should have gone away by now on the wallet.

Buy another one and just let it air out and see if it gets these crystals on it.
Reply Sat 3 Aug, 2013 11:23 am
Vinyl and fabric. And okay. I just wasn't sure if what the vinegar did was a reaction that made the harmful chemical visible.
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