Advocacy group: Fidget spinners sold at Target contain high amounts of lead

Francis Osborne
November 12, 2017

Yandell says the Minnesota Department of Health relies on regulatory agencies and consumer groups to tell them which products contain lead.

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that two popular types of fidget spinners have high levels of lead.

Fidget spinners may be popular, and high on many holiday gift lists, but an OR mother and a consumer advocacy group have found high levels of lead in some of the toys, and the defense offered by one retailer might be much help to most parents considering a purchase.

"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.

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. That is, "unless they are primarily intended for children 12 years of age and younger". "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", the statement continued.

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"Saying fidget spinners aren't toys defies common sense, as millions of parents whose kids play with spinners can tell you", said Kara Cook-Schultz of the research group, in a statement.

U.S. PIRG says everyone needs to stop pretending that kids don't use fidget spinners, and that Target should issue a recall for the affected Fidget Wild Premium Spinner products, which it even advertises on its website as being "framed as a toy".

PIRG disputed the designation and claimed its representatives found the toxic fidget spinners in toy aisles at Target stores.

Lead exposure can be extremely unsafe for children, potentially impacting mental development among other risks. "And, yes, they are toys".

As of Thursday, the spinners remain on the shelves and available to buy online despite them listing the toy for kids 6 years and up. "We can't sit idly by while children play with these toxic toys - and yes, these are toys". If the lead chips off, or if young kids put the spinner in their mouths, it can be risky.

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