Fidget spinners may be popular, and high on many holiday gift lists, but an OR mother and a consumer advocacy group have found high levels of lead in some of the toys, and the defense offered by one retailer might be much help to most parents considering a purchase.
Lab results showed that two types of fidget spinners contained well over the legal limit for lead, which is 100 parts per million (ppm) in children's products. The Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass center circle tested for 33,000 parts per million (ppm) of lead.
USPIRG said it wasn't aware of any reported cases of lead poisoning that can definitively be traced to fidget spinners, but the Centers for Disease Control says there's no such thing as a safe level of lead.
The consumer group has called on Target to stop selling the gadgets and recall the models it has sold. In a legal sense, lead regulations only refer to toys that are marketed for children 12 and under.
Currently, the toxic fidget spinners are still available both in toy aisles at Target stores and on its website.
"All fidget spinners have play value as children's toys regardless of labeling", Kara Cook-Shultz said. The CPSC, Target and Bulls i Toy need to acknowledge the obvious - that all fidget spinners are toys.
A spokesman for Bulls-I-Toy sent a statement to the Post-Dispatch saying "Safety is one of our top priorities".
Fidget spinners are supposed to be calming and fun, especially for students struggling to focus.
CoPIRG says lead exposure is particularly damaging for young children because of its impact on development.
The advocacy group says it has notified the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal body, of the high lead levels.
"Target's VP of corporate responsibility told BI that the two fidget spinners are ".clearly marked on the package "appropriate for customer's 14 and older" and are not marketed to children".
PIRG Education Fund is calling for the toys to be pulled from shelves and wants a recall issued.
As of Thursday, the Target website mistakenly had the age recommendation as "6 years and up" in the product details under the Fidget Wild Spinner Premium Brass.