Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

High lead levels found in fidget spinners

High lead levels found in fidget spinners

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund published a report and news release Thursday concluding that "two fidget spinners purchased at Target and distributed by Bulls i Toy, L.L.C. contained extremely high levels of lead" based off lab results.

The US Public Interest Research Group, which produces an annual report about unsafe toys, released data on two fidget spinners sold at Target stores - the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass and the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal - on Thursday, saying that both gadgets contained excessive lead levels.

The report found the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass tested at 33,000 parts per million for lead, while the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner in Metal tested at 1,300 parts per million. One of the two models was found to have 330 times the amount of lead allowed in children's products.

The toy remains on Target shelves, as the companies defend their product with the Consumer Product Safety Commission's declaration that fidget spinners are not technically "children's products" subject to legal limits for lead. They may contain high levels of lead. The spinners were not required to meet federal lead standards.

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Target is coming under criticism this morning over some of the fidget spinners it sells. Cook-Schulz said it released the report on the lead content of these two spinners early because of public safety concerns.

Notably, US PIRG continues to test spinners sold at other stores around the country.

"The reason lead is a large concern - especially in children's products - is that when children are exposed to high levels of lead they can experience things like memory loss, learning disabilities", US PIRG's toxics program director, Kara Cook-Shultz, told CBS News.

Bulls i Toy did not immediately return USA TODAY's request for comment.

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But PIRG says Target often markets these fidget spinners to kids by placing them in aisles alongside toys, and has scoffed at the notion that kids won't use a particular fidget spinner just because the packaging said 14-plus.

"Alarmingly, when PIRG notified the CPSC about the elevated lead levels in the fidget spinners, the CPSC responded in an email that these fidget spinners are general use products, not children's products", the group said in its report.

Many light-up fidget spinners also contain lithium batteries that can cause severe internal burns if swallowed.

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