High levels of lead found in fidget spinners

Alicia Farmer
November 11, 2017

A consumer group is warning that two models of fidget spinners being sold at Target contain high levels of lead that may be harmful to children.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group tested several models of fidget spinners and found two models, both sold at Target stores nationwide, that contained "extremely high" levels of lead in the metal and coating.

The safety group is not aware of any reported cases of kids getting lead poisoning from fidget spinners, but they urge awareness and transparency on the part of the retailers, especially when putting the items in children's toy sections, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

The legal amount of lead considered acceptable for children's products is 100 parts per million.

On the Target website, however, the product details for the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass reads, "framed as a toy, the fidget spinner is also a great stress-relief tool or place to exert excess energy rather than biting your nails or clicking a pen".

In the meantime, U.S. PIRG still recommends for adults and children to stop using the fidget spinners. "We are delighted to hear that they will also take them off the shelves".

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CPSC could hold the products to federal standards for lead if classified as a toy. "All of our product are tested and comply with CPSC safety standards".

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". Exposure to children is damaging because it can impact development, and any amount of lead in a child's blood is unsafe. "Lead harms the developing brain and is easily ingested through normal hand to mouth behaviors".

Both Target and the manufacturer say the items are still on the shelves because the spinners are not meant to be children's toys.

In the report, the lab results were tested twice to confirm the results. "And, yes, they are toys".

Following the US PIRG report yesterday, CPSC Commissioner Elliot Kaye, who was chairman of the government watchdog until earlier this year, said over Twitter: "Seems obvious fidget spinners are toys and should comply with all applicable federal safety standards".

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