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Fidget spinners sold at Target have high lead levels, advocacy group says

Ben Schmitt
| Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, 10:48 a.m.
Corey Walton, event coordinator for Learning Express Toys, holds a fidget spinner at the store in Bakery Square, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Local school districts are banning the toys, which were originally designed to help children with Autism or ADHD to focus in the classroom.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Corey Walton, event coordinator for Learning Express Toys, holds a fidget spinner at the store in Bakery Square, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Local school districts are banning the toys, which were originally designed to help children with Autism or ADHD to focus in the classroom.
A fidget spinner display at Learning Express Toys  in Bakery Square, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A fidget spinner display at Learning Express Toys in Bakery Square, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

Certain brands of the wildly popular fidget spinners contain hazardous levels of lead, according to a consumer advocacy group.

The palm-sized, three-pronged twirling toys became the rage in school classrooms across the country this year. Now, the nonprofit U.S. Public interest Research Group PIRG Education Fund says tests revealed that Target is selling “toxic” fidget spinners with potentially dangerous lead levels.

The Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass and Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal contained as much as 330 times the federal legal limit for lead in children's products, the Washington Post reported.

Target countered that the fidget spinners did not need to meet federal lead limits because they were not marketed as children's toys.

“The two fidget spinners cited in your letter are clearly marked on the package ‘appropriate for customers 14 and older,' and are not marketed to children,” Target's Jennifer Silberman wrote to the researchers in an email shared with Business Insider .

The products are supplied by Bulls-I-Toys, based in Des Moines, Iowa, and sell for $19.99 online and in stores.

“Safety is one of our top priorities,” Howard Chizick, a spokesman for Bulls-I-Toys, said in an email to the Washington Post. “All of our products are tested and comply with Consumer Product Safety Commission safety standards.”

Lead poisoning can lead to organ damage and long-term health problems.

Fidget spinners, which were originally designed to help relax children with hyperactivity , anxiety and autism, exploded in popularity. Some schools banned them during the 2016-2017 school year.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, bschmitt@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Bencschmitt.

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