A report by PIRG Education Fund, a nonprofit, found that two types of fidget spinners sold by Target have unsafe, illegal levels of lead in their making - almost 330 times more than the federal legal limit.
Lab tests also revealed that the center of the metal version of the same spinner contained 1,300 ppm of lead.
Henderson added that Consumer Product Safety Commission has defined fidget spinners as "general use products", not toys.
The research revealed some of the spinners could contain as much as 300 times the federal limit for lead in children's products. "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". 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. Despite the loopholes, the research group sent their lead finding to Target and the company is still not pulling the spinners from their shelves.
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"Safety is one of our top priorities", Howard Chizick, a spokesman for Bulls-I-Toys, said in an email. That's because the two Fidget Wild Premium Spinner varieties are labeled for those age 14+. 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.
Prolonged lead exposure isn't good for anyone, but it is particularly bad for kids, as it can cause developmental problems, cognitive losses and even death.
"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 argues that the products do not have to follow the 100 ppm limit due because of they are not toys intended for children.
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.