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Consumer Protection Group Warns Parents About Lead Content Of Fidget Spinners

Every few years, a new novelty item comes along that every kid not just has to have, but has to collect. Cabbage Patch Kids, Pokémon cards, Beanie Babies and Furbies all made it among the ranks of highly collectible toys, and the latest addition to that particular hall of fame is the humble fidget spinner. The little spinning boredom busters come in a variety of colors and patterns, and since they only cost a few bucks each, kids are breaking their piggy banks to buy a spinner to match their every mood, occasion and outfit.

One consumer group is warning parents everywhere that these little colorful toys might be dangerous. A new study shows that spinners sold at Target have a much higher lead content than should be allowed. Some Fidget Wild Premium Spinners even pass the legal limits for lead in toys, according to the report.

According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), the center circle of 'Brass' fidget spinners has 33,000 ppm of lead, and the 'Metal' version has 1,300 ppm of lead. The spinning arms, they say, have less lead than the center, but a higher amount than is legally allowed.

Current laws stay that the lead limit on toys is 100 ppm (parts per million).

Bulls i Toy, the company that makes the spinners, and Target have both managed to get around this lead content on a technicality. Technically, fidget spinners aren't considered toys. Even the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has backed Target and fidget spinner makers on this, saying they're listed as 'general use products', and they're not labelled as safe to use for kids 12 and under.

“The two fidget spinners cited are clearly marked on the package as ‘appropriate for customers ages 14 and older,’ and are not marketed to children,” said a Target spokesperson to The Washington Post. “As a result, the fidget spinners identified are not regulated as toys or children’s products and are not required to meet children’s product standards.”

U.S. PIRG slammed the three companies for acting as though fidget spinners are not marketed to attract children. It's school kids that are fueling the trend. You don't find as many college students or working adults rushing to the store to grab as many unique types as they can for themselves.

“Saying fidget spinners aren’t toys defies common sense, as millions of parents whose kids play with spinners can tell you,” said Kara Cook-Schultz, toxics director at the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. She notes that even on the Target website, the description of one of the offending products notes that it's 'framed as a toy', but that adults can use it to in order to stop bad habits like nail biting and pen clicking. The website also noted that the spinners were appropriate for ages '6 and up', despite the package warnings.

"All fidget spinners have play value as children's toys regardless of labeling," said Cook-Schultz. "We can't sit idly by while children play with these toxic toys. And, yes, they are toys."

The basic fact is, everyone knows that more kids than adults are having fun with fidget spinners, they're not only using them but they're trading and selling them. It's not unheard of for an older sibling's toys to make their way into the hands (and mouths) of younger siblings.

High lead content can lead to hyperactivity, behavior problems, learning disabilities, stomach and kidney problems, headaches, weakness and a number of other symptoms, says WebMD.

Target is keeping the fidget spinners on the store shelves but has, for now, removed them from websites.

Source: Fortune, KTLA
Photo: YouTube

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