High lead levels found in fidget spinners

Faith Castro
November 13, 2017

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) and the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) issued a warning to parents Thursday that fidget spinners being sold at Target stores nationwide were found to have high levels of lead.

The Target page for Fidget Wild Spinner Premium Brass does indeed say it's for people 14 and older, though The Washington Post reported that the fidget spinner's manufacturer labeled them for anyone at least six years old.

The watchdog group is calling on USA government safety organizations to change the classification of fidget spinners so they will have to meet federal regulations for children's products. The center circle of the "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal" was tested for 1,300 ppm of lead and the arm tested for 520 ppm of lead. The group called on the companies to immediately recall the toys.

Target responded to concerns, saying in a statement that the company is "committed to providing high quality and safe products to our guest and we closely review all product safety claims that are brought to our attention". The advocacy group requested Target and its developer, Bulls i Toys, LLC to recall the products and investigate the how lead seeped into them. "As a result, the fidget spinners identified are not regulated as toys or children's products and are not required to meet children's product standards".

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Harold Chizick, spokesman for Bulls-I-Toys of Des Moines, Iowa, the items' distributor, said in a statement: "Safety is one of our top priorities". Target also appears to have made the "brass" fidget spinner unavailable online, though they were apparently still on store shelves as of Friday.

U.S. PIRG said when it alerted CPSC about the lead discovery, the agency said the fidget spinners were considered general use products, not toys. That's 300 times higher than the legal limit for children's products. Lead in paint and other surface coatings on children's products, for example, is limited at 90 parts per million.

"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.

Children exposed to lead have an increased risk for damage to the brain and nervous system as well as slow growth and development, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's also calling on children and adults to stop using the toys.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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