A consumer protection group has accused Target of selling fidget spinners that have far too much lead in them for children's products, sparking an argument with the retailer over whom the gadgets are intended for. U.S. PIRG says lab work found lead levels as high as as 33,000 ppm in the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass, and 1,300 ppm in the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal.
USPIRG said it wasn't aware of any reported cases of lead poisoning that can definitively be traced to fidget spinners, but the Centers for Disease Control says there's no such thing as a safe level of lead. Children products must not contain more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of total lead in "accessible parts", according to federal requirements.
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.
CoPIRGreport that when Target and the toy's distributor, Bulls i Toy, were alerted to the findings, they refused to address the problem.
But now a consumer advocacy group says two types of fidget spinners being sold at Target could be unsafe.
"Safety is one of our top priorities", Howard Chizick, a spokesman for Bulls-I-Toys, said in an email. The Fidget Wild Spinner Premium Brass is also being sold on Target's website. "CPSC stands for the Consumer Product Safety Commission", Kara Cook-Schultz, the nonprofit's toxics director, said in a statement.
When ingested or inhaled, lead can cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities and stunted growth in young children.
"Target's VP of corporate responsibility told BI that the two fidget spinners are ".clearly marked on the package "appropriate for customer's 14 and older" and are not marketed to children". A spokeswoman for the CPSC said she could not comment specifically on the products being sold by Target.
Target said their product safety team reviewed the US PIRG's test results and decided there was no need to pull the products from its shelves or website.