Fidget Spinners Sold at Target Contain Dangerous Lead Levels
Two models of fidget spinners, the popular gadgets that whirl around, contain high levels of lead that can be particularly harmful to children, a leading consumer group announced this week. According to an ABC news report, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG), tested several models of fidget spinners sold at Target and found two models, sold nationwide at the stores, that contained “extremely high” levels of lead in the metal and coating. One had 330 times the allowable amount of lead for children’s products.
Fidget spinners are categorized as “general use” products as not as “children’s toys.” In this case, the packing notes that they are meant for ages 14-plus. So technically they are subject to lead limits overseen by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The consumer group is calling this distinction absurd.
Calling fidget spinners general-use products as opposed to kids’ toys makes no sense particularly because many young children play with these toys. Testers with the consumer group in fact found fidget spinners in toy aisles at Target. The retail giant has promised to closely review these claims, but added how the items are categorized would be up to CPSC.
High Lead Content
The fidget spinners in question include “Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass,” which tested at 33,000 parts per million of lead in its center circle and 22,000 parts per million in the arm. The other model is the “Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal,” which was found to have 1,300 parts per million of lead in its center circle and 520 parts per million in its arm. The federal legal limit on lead in children’s products made after August 2011 is 100 parts per million for any accessible parts.
The only exception to this rule is for metal parts of bicycles. But even there, the limit is 300 parts per million of lead. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all products intended for use by children contain no more than trace amounts of lead. For example, lead in paint and other surface coatings in kids’ products is limited at 90 parts per million. Medical professionals say there is simply no safe level for lead in children.
Harm Caused by Lead Poisoning
Lead is toxic to everyone, but unborn babies and young children are at greatest risk for health problems from lead poisoning. This is because their smaller, growing bodies make them more susceptible to absorbing and retaining lead. Lead poisoning can lead to a variety of health problems in children including decreased bone and muscle growth; poor muscle coordination; damage to the nervous system, kidneys and/or hearing; speech and language issues; developmental delays; and seizures when the lead exposure is extremely high.
It is important that parents protect their children from lead exposure. But product manufacturers also have a responsibility to ensure that their products are properly labeled and that they are safe for consumers who use them. If you or a loved one has been affected by a defective product, contact an experienced product defect attorney for more information about your legal rights and options.