Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

High lead levels found in fidget spinners

High lead levels found in fidget spinners

While U.S. PIRG notified the CPSC, the agency held firm that the fidget spinners are not toys.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group tested several models of fidget spinners and found two models, both sold at Target stores nationwide, that contained "extremely high" levels of lead in the metal and coating.

The spinners in question are: "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass", which tested at 33,000 parts per million of lead in its center circle and 22,000 parts per million in the arm, and the "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal", which was found to have 1,300 parts per million of lead in its center circle and 520 parts per million in its arm.

Target is selling fidget spinners with levels of lead unsafe for children according to a new report by a consumer advocacy group.

"While these two products comply with all CPSC guidelines for fidget spinners, based on the concerns raised, we're removing them from our assortment", said Jenna Reck, senior communications manager at Target.

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However, when TexPIRG Education Fund reached out to Target, Bulls i Toy and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) with the results, all three noted fidget spinners are labeled as general use products, and are not subject to the same standards as children's products.

Target isn't the only retailer that has sold potentially toxic spinners.

Lead poisoning can also lead to brain and nervous system conditions, stomach and kidney problems, high blood pressure and headaches in adults.

Tamara Rubin, the Portland mother-of-four behind the popular Facebook group "Lead Safe Mama", said she tested her kids' fidget spinners with an X-ray spectrometer.

Target officials say stores will continue to sell the products and argue they don't have to follow the acceptable limit because the gadgets are not toys intended for children.

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Keep fidget spinners away from children under 3 years of age.

PIRG, a research group which prides itself as "an independent voice for consumers", said Saturday it was pleased with the store's decision. "All of our product are tested and comply with CPSC safety standards". They tested 12 fidget spinners found in children's toy aisles in Target stores across the country. It added, in a statement, the CPSC and the toys' supplier Bulls i Toy should recall the products. Lead exposure is particularly damaging for young children because of its impact on development.

Two of those came back with high levels of lead. But, after the company reviewed the products, it chose to pull them anyway.

The CPSC did not return calls seeking comment on Friday.

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

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