Fidget spinners may be some of this year’s hottest toys, but certain models could be dangerous, and even toxic, for kids.
Target is pulling two kinds of fidget spinners from its shelves after a consumer advocacy group found they contained “extremely high” levels of lead.
The two fidget spinners in question, the ‘Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass’ and the ‘Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal,’ are no longer available to buy on Target.com and are currently being removed from stores.
Both devices contain many times the acceptable lead limit for children’s toys, according to a report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
Under federal law, toys should not contain more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of lead, though no amount of lead exposure is safe. The center of the brass spinner tested for a lead content of 33,000 ppm, and the other spinner tested for 1,300 ppm.
Exposure to even very small amounts of lead can seriously endanger a child’s health and can lead to brain damage, slowed development, hearing and speech problems, and other issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Technically, fidget spinners are not classified as toys under federal consumer regulations, unless they are intended for kids younger than age 12. The fidget spinners in question are marketed to kids "ages 14+" on the box, and Target emphasizes that they did not violate any laws by selling them as “general use” products.
But, the company said, they are voluntarily pulling the fidget spinners from shelves in light of the recent report on their high lead content.
“Based on the concerns raised, we’re removing them from our assortment,” Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesperson, told TODAY in an email. “Additionally, we’re working closely with our vendors to ensure all of the fidget spinners carried at Target meet the (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)’s guidelines for children’s products.”
If you previously bought one of these fidget spinners, you can return them to a Target store under Target’s standard return policy, Thomas says.