Fidget spinners pose danger with high lead levels, consumer group says

The fidget spinners shown in-store alongside children's toys.U.S. PIRG Education Fund

The fidget spinners shown in-store alongside children's toys.U.S. PIRG Education Fund

A report by PIRG Education Fund, a nonprofit, found that two types of fidget spinners sold by Target have risky, illegal levels of lead in their making - almost 330 times more than the federal legal limit.

Consumer group U.S. PIRG is asking Target to recall two types of fidget spinners for possibly containing unsafe amounts of lead. And the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal center circle tested for 1,300 ppm of lead.

A Target spokesperson Lee Henderson said that the CPSC also views spinners as "general use products" and not "toys" so that is another loophole.

In an email to the researchers, Target's vice president of corporate responsibility said that the fidget spinners did not need to meet federal lead limits because they were not marketed as children's toys.

Federal laws limit the amount of lead in children's products to 100 parts per million (ppm). However and since the CPSC's lead-restriction guidelines differ between items marketed to adults and those targeted at children under 12, Target says its in the clear to keep selling these models.

CoPIRGreport that when Target and the toy's distributor, Bulls i Toy, were alerted to the findings, they refused to address the problem.

A spokesman for Bulls-I-Toy sent a statement to the Post-Dispatch saying "Safety is one of our top priorities". So, while one of their fidget spinners may be marketed to "14 and up" kids, it doesn't mean anything if they're being sold alongside LEGO playsets and Barbie dolls.

The popular little toys are already the subject of Consumer Product Safety Commission choking hazard warnings.

Lead exposure is damaging for young children because of its impact on development. The brass spinners are labeled as appropriate for ages 14 and up, but the manufacturer's note on the Target website and the company's website reads ages 6 and up.

The "Lead Safe Mama" blog and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group are now calling for those products to be taken off store shelves.

Even though the product isn't considered a toy and says 14+ on the packaging it's sold in the kid toy aisle.

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