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Target pulls fidget spinners over lead concerns

13 November 2017, 02:16 | Lucy Hill

Fidget spinners with harmful lead counts for kids sold at Target

11_10_Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners are one of the hottest new trends of the year, but ahead of the holiday shopping season, a new report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy organization, says testing found unsafe levels of lead in some.

The report discovered that two fidget spinners sold in their stores and online, the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass and the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal, contained excessive amounts of lead.

The safety group is not aware of any reported cases of kids getting lead poisoning from fidget spinners, but they urge awareness and transparency on the part of the retailers, especially when putting the items in children's toy sections, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner. The "metal" fidget spinner had 1,300 parts per million of lead at its core. One of the two models was found to have 330 times the amount of lead allowed in children's products.

- High levels of lead have been found in one of the more popular gadgets this year: fidget spinners.

"All fidget spinners have play value as children's toys regardless of age labeling", Cummings added.

Target's initial response Thursday, as the report was referenced across national media, was not to pull the products, but to point out that they do not technically violate laws or guidelines for children's toys - the spinners are actually labeled for ages 14 and older. The toys that tested for high lead levels were re-tested to confirm the results.

Fidget spinners are palm-sized toys for adults and kids alike featuring a whirling center.

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The manufacturer of the specific model, Bulls-I-Toy, wrote in a statement: "There are no mandatory CPSC requirements for it".

U.S. PIRG said in a statement on Saturday that it was "pleased" Target removed the fidget spinners from store shelves.

Kara Cook-Schultz, toxics director for the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, said while the spinners might not be officially classified as toys, in practice they often are.

Fidget Spinners are the latest craze among kids, but certain ones may expose them to risky amounts of lead.

PIRG urged customers to not purchase the fidget spinners, which sell for $19,99.

Interim CPSC Chairwoman Anne Marie Buerkle also warned that light-up spinners contain lithium coin batteries that can cause severe internal burns, if swallowed, and have been the source of fire warnings.



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