Toying with danger? Some fidget spinners may have 'toxic' lead levels

Jon Howard
November 10, 2017

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund found some problems with a major retailer's sales of this hot new toy. In fact, one of the fidget spinners was found to contain 300 times the 100 parts per million allowable for children's toys.

The Fidget Wild Premium Spinner in Metal tested at 1,300 parts per million.

Henderson added that Consumer Product Safety Commission has defined fidget spinners as "general use products", not toys.

"The two fidget spinners cited in their letter are clearly marked on the package as 'appropriate for customers ages 14 and older, ' and are not marketed to children", Target spokesman Lee Henderson said in a prepared statement.

They may be fun to play with, but a new report warns that some fidget spinners could expose kids to lead. A consumer advocacy group found that some models sold at Target contain high levels of lead.

"Even small amounts of lead in toys can be ingested when transferred from fingers to mouth or from fingers to food", said Dr. Helen Binns, pediatrician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in the PIRG news release.

Currently, the toxic fidget spinners are still available both in toy aisles at Target stores and on its website.

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Fidget spinners, the multi-pronged, whirling gadgets that became so popular this year some schools banned them as a distraction, have been marketed as playful diversions meant to help people calm down and focus.

According to the company, the items manufactured by "Bulls I Toys" are labeled "ages 14 and up" and do not require lead testing. With the holidays coming around parents are bound to buy a few fidget spinners for their kids.

Exposure to children is damaging because it can impact development, and any amount of lead in a child's blood is unsafe.

In the report, the lab results were tested twice to confirm the results.

If you've purchased these toys and are anxious about lead exposure, U.S. PIRG is advising consumers to stop using the two fidget spinner models immediately, and to place them in a bag out of reach of children.

Target did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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