Dear Santa: Watch out for potentially toxic fidget spinners

Some fidget spinners sold at Target contain potentially dangerous lead

"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.

Target has announced that it's pulling two styles of spinners, which were sold under the brands "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass" and "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal", after a report released Thursday found that the products contained unsafe levels of lead.

The report found the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass tested at 33,000 parts per million for lead, while the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner in Metal tested at 1,300 parts per million. The advocacy group requested Target and its developer, Bulls i Toys, LLC to recall the products and investigate the how lead seeped into them. "Additionally, we're working closely with our vendors to ensure all of the fidget spinners carried at Target meet the CPSC's guidelines for children's products".

"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", a Target spokesman told The Washington Post in an email. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to undermine IQ, attentiveness and academic achievement.

Tamara Rubin, the Portland mother-of-four behind the popular Facebook group "Lead Safe Mama", said she tested her kids' fidget spinners with an X-ray spectrometer. On Target's website, the "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Bass" is recommended for ages 14 and over, as well as, 6 and over.

Following the US PIRG report yesterday, CPSC Commissioner Elliot Kaye, who was chairman of the government watchdog until earlier this year, noted over Twitter: "Seems obvious fidget spinners are toys and should comply with all applicable federal safety standards".

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Rubin's blog caught the attention of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

The manufacturer of the specific model, Bulls-I-Toy, wrote in a statement: "There are no mandatory CPSC requirements for it". "All of our product are tested and comply with CPSC safety standards".

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all products intended for use by children contain no more than trace amounts of lead. Target's decision to pull the products completely was made on Friday.

The CPSC did not return calls seeking comment. The toys that tested for high lead levels were re-tested to confirm the results.

Children exposed to lead have an increased risk for damage to the brain and nervous system as well as slow growth and development, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The toy sits on shelves in the toy section, near products meant for young children, as well as sporting goods, adult board and other items.

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