Target Won't Take 'Not Safe' Fidget Spinners Off Shelves

US PIRG report says the toys have high lead levels; Target says they're not kids' products
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2017 9:25 AM CST
Target's Fidget Spinners Could Be Poisoning Kids
A boy plays with a fidget spinner in Moscow.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

A maker of one of the hottest products of the year has just found itself in a bucket of hot water. According to a consumer advocacy group, two fidget spinners supplied to Target by Iowa-based Bulls-i-Toy contain lead at up to 330 times the federal legal limit for toys. Inspired by a 15,000-strong Facebook group run by a woman who tests consumer products for lead, the US Public Interest Research Group tested 12 fidget spinners sold by Target and found two with unsafe lead levels, reports CBS News. Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass was found to contain 33,000 parts per million at its center, while Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal contained 1,300 parts per million, reports the Washington Post. Federal laws limit lead in "children's products" to 100 parts per million.

The group is now asking Target to remove the products and recall those already sold. But Target isn't complying, arguing the Consumer Product Safety Commission classifies fidget spinners as "general use products" marketed to users 14 and up, making them exempt from regulations on toys. Bulls-i-Toy seconds that, noting the products are "clearly labeled" for ages 14 and up. But FOX 13 notes the fidget spinners sold in Target toy aisles had actually been listed on its website at one point with a manufacturer's recommendation for users "6 years and up." Given that lead exposure can cause learning disabilities in children, among many other issues, US PIRG's toxics director maintains "these products are not safe," per CBS. (They're also a choking hazard.)

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