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 two fidgets spinners in question are the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass which tested for 33,000 parts per million (ppm) of lead and the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal which tested at 1,200 ppm of lead. "Additionally, we're working closely with our vendors to ensure all of the fidget spinners carried at Target meet the CPSC's guidelines for children's products". She tests consumer products that concerned parents send to her, including hundreds of fidget spinners. The group called on the companies to immediately recall the toys.
"We are pleased to see that Target is not selling these products online anymore", said Kara Cook-Schultz, toxics director at US PIRG.
The group continues to test other spinners from other retailers as part of its annual holiday toy testing project.
The U.S. PIRG report, however, addresses Target's defense: "U.S. PIRG Education Fund staff found these fidget spinners sold in the toy aisle of Target stores and on the Target.com website, which includes a statement that the product is intended for children ages 6 and up". Children products must not contain more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of total lead in "accessible parts", according to federal requirements.
Following the US PIRG report yesterday, CPSC Commissioner Elliot Kaye, who was chairman of the government watchdog until earlier this year, noted over Twitter: "Seems obvious fidget spinners are toys and should comply with all applicable federal safety standards".
"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.
Harold Chizick, spokesman for Bulls-I-Toys of Des Moines, Iowa, the items' distributor, said in a statement: "Safety is one of our top priorities".
Target and Bulls-I-Toys do not plan to take any action because the spinners aren't technically considered children't products by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Paint or surface coatings must not exceed 90 ppm. The toys that tested for high lead levels were re-tested to confirm the results.
Children exposed to lead have an increased risk for damage to the brain and nervous system as well as slow growth and development, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.