Parents, according to a recent report, should watch what fidget spinners their kids are using.
Two types of metal fidget spinners, called the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass and the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal, are sold at Target and were found to contain far beyond the legal amount of lead designated safe for products aimed at kids.
According to a report put out by the United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, the “brass” fidget spinner contains 33,000 parts per million of lead at its center, which is, shall we say, a bit more than the 100 parts per million legal limit for lead found in toys marketed to kids. The “metal” fidget spinner had 1,300 parts per million of lead at its core.
Both of these fidget spinners, according to the research group, are available at Target.
A Target spokesperson responded to the story by writing in an email to PIRG that the fidget spinners in question are marketed to anyone age 14 or older. “As a result,” the spokesperson wrote, “the fidget spinners identified are not regulated as toys or children’s products and are not required to meet children’s product standards.”
The Target page for Fidget Wild Spinner Premium Brass does indeed say it’s for people 14 and older, though The Washington Post reported that the fidget spinner’s manufacturer labeled them for anyone at least six years old. That recommendation was reportedly taken down on Thursday as the report went out to the world. Target also appears to have made the “brass” fidget spinner unavailable online, though they were apparently still on store shelves as of Friday.
Timothy Nolan, president of the company that supplies these fidget spinners, Bulls-I Toy, wrote in response to the report that the fidget spinners in question are “general use products” and therefore “are not in violation of any mandated federal regulations.”
But PIRG says Target often markets these fidget spinners to kids by placing them in aisles alongside toys, and has scoffed at the notion that kids won’t use a particular fidget spinner just because the packaging said 14-plus.
“All fidget spinners have play value as children’s toys regardless of age labeling,” said Kara Cook-Schultz, the toxics director at U.S. PIRG Education Fund, according to a press release that went along with the release of the report. “We can’t sit idly by while children play with these toxic toys — and yes, these are toys.”