High levels of lead found in fidget spinners

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Fidget spinners sold at Target might contain high levels of lead, the U.S. 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.

The two products are the "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass" and the "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal", which tested for 33,000 parts per million (ppm) and 1,300 ppm of lead, respectively.

"The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reviewed and explicitly defined fidget spinners as 'general use products.' They are not defined by the CPSC as toys", said Target spokesman Lee Henderson, per CBS News.

In an email to the researchers, Target's vice president of corporate responsibility said that the fidget spinners did not need to meet federal lead limits because they were not marketed as children's toys.

Lead poisoning is most unsafe for young children.

CBS News reported Thursday that Tamara Rubin, a Portland, Oregon, mother who runs the Lead-Safe Mama Facebook page, tests products that parents send to her, including lots of fidget spinners. Toys sold to children over age of 12 have no specific lead-level prohibitions.

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Fidget spinners have been marketed as a therapeutic tool to help stop "fidgeting" and maintain focus; they have even been banned in some schools because they have become a distraction in classrooms.

High levels of lead can affect multiple systems in the body and is especially harmful to young children, according to the World Health Organization.

MASSPIRG said that this defies common sense, since millions of children play with fidget spinners, regardless of whether or not they are marketed to them.

Target did not immediately respond to request for comment.

U.S. PIRG publishes an annual report on toy safety, which has led to more than 150 product recalls and regulatory actions over the past 30 years. The brass spinners are labeled as appropriate for ages 14 and up, but the manufacturer's note on the Target website and the company's website reads ages 6 and up.