Pretty Little Thing products can contain lead, but probably not dangerous amounts

Published: 27th Sep 2019

In brief

Claim

Pretty Little Thing products may contain chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Conclusion

Pretty Little Thing states in its terms and conditions that some of their products may contain lead. However, it is unlikely the amount present could cause harm.

 

Pretty Little Thing’s terms and conditions state that its products may contain chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

 

This is true, it says they may contain lead. The amounts contained are probably not dangerous though.

Claim 1 of 2

A Facebook post that claims clothing company Pretty Little Thing’s products may contain chemicals that can cause cancer and birth defects has been shared 24,000 times.

It’s true that their terms and conditions in the US include a warning to this effect—as do several other clothing firms, due to Californian law. This doesn’t mean that the products contain enough to cause harm, though.

A screenshot included with the post is genuine and shows Pretty Little Thing’s terms and conditions. The warning originally appeared on both the UK and US websites (as you can see on this archived version of the UK site), however following the viral post, a spokesperson for Pretty Little Thing said the warning was removed from the UK site as “the messaging is for US customers only.”

Pretty Little Thing’s US website says that its products may contain “traces of lead”.  Long term or high-level exposure to lead can damage the nervous system and organs including the kidneys and reproductive organs. Studies have also found it could probably cause cancer in humans. 

We asked the company about the warning and what risk if any the products could pose to customers, a spokesperson for Pretty Little Thing told Full Fact:

“All companies that sell products to customers in California are legally required to comply with California’s Proposition 65 legislation. Proposition 65 requires companies to make customers in California aware that certain products may contain traces of chemicals. PLT works closely with its suppliers to ensure that the requirements relating to Proposition 65 are met. Including a general warning on our US website is a step commonly taken by companies selling products in California.”

As the company told us the warning appears because of a California law Proposition 65, which means companies that conduct business in the state of California must provide warnings about “significant exposures    to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

Pretty Little Thing are not the only company to use this warning—other fashion sites like ASOS and Fashion Nova have the warning on their US sites too. It is unlikely you would find a high amount of lead in a product from Pretty Little Thing. We’ve reached out to experts for more guidance on this. 

It is unlikely you would find a high amount of lead in a product from Pretty Little Thing. We’ve reached out to experts for more guidance on this.

In the UK, there are guidelines for those in regular contact with lead products (for example through their work). NHS England advises that it is unlikely that most people would encounter enough lead to cause concern. 

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as true as Pretty Little Thing does include a warning in its terms and conditions that some products may contain lead, but it’s probably not enough to cause concern.

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