Published: Fri, November 10, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

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

"When children are exposed to high levels of lead, they can experience things like memory loss, learning disabilities", said Kara Cook, toxics program director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

The US Public Interest Research Group on Thursday released a report stating that Target stores are selling some fidget spinners with high levels of lead.

The Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass tested at 33,000 parts per million for lead - some 300 times the 100 parts per million allowable for children's toys. And the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal center circle tested for 1,300 ppm of lead. On Target's website, the "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Bass" is recommended for ages 14 and over, as well as, 6 and over.

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The Consumer Products Safety Commission said that fidget spinners are general use products, not children's products; They only consider a fidget spinner a toy if it is labeled for ages 12 or under, according to MASSPIRG. The organization argues that the two fidget spinners are marketed towards children. "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".

Target said their product safety team reviewed the US PIRG's test results and decided there was no need to pull the products from its shelves or website.

The CPSC has specific guidance in place for manufacturers of fidget spinners, which are carried at a variety of retailers. The group also has a petition calling on Target to issue a recall of the toys and remove them from stores.

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Lead poisoning is most risky for young children. 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.

"Safety is one of our top priorities", said a Bulls i Toy spokesperson in an email to the Washington Post. A spokeswoman for the CPSC said she could not comment specifically on the products being sold by Target.

U.S. PIRG publishes an annual report on toy safety, which has led to more than 150 product recalls and regulatory actions over the past 30 years.

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