Target Halts Sales of Fidget Spinners Over Lead

Retail chain Target is stopping sales of two fidget spinners after an independent study found the items contain lead levels that exceed federal standards for children’s toys. Released last week, the report from U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), a public advocacy organization, revealed that both brass and metal Fidget Wild Premium Spinners available from Target contain lead levels as high as 33,000 parts per million (brass spinner) and 1,300 ppm (metal spinner).

As detailed here by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, federal regulations establish that lead content in accessible parts of all children’s products is prohibited from exceeding 100 parts per million.

Nonetheless, Target initially dismissed a call from PIRG to pull the products, citing a CPSC rule that states general use products directed at adults don’t need to follow the same lead guidelines as children’s products directed at children age 12 and under. Target reportedly advertised the fidget spinners to children 14 years old and older, but PIRG asserted that the retailer’s website said the brass spinner was for children ages 6 and up – language that PIRG alleges was removed once publicity about the spinners flared.

Ultimately, Target decided to stop sales of the brass and metal Fidget Wild Premium Spinners, but did so while maintaining that it did not violate any regulations. “While these two products comply with all CPSC guidelines for fidget spinners, based on the concerns raised, we’re removing them from our assortment,” read a Target statement published by USA Today. “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 spinners are made by Bulls i Toy.

In a statement, PIRG said it was relieved that Target was nixing sales of the Fidget Wild Premium Spinners, but called on the company to go a step further. “Target should recall both the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass and its Metal counterpart immediately,” said U.S. PIRG Education Fund Toxics Director Kara Cook-Schultz. “Kids may currently be playing with these fidget spinners that contain high amounts of lead.”

As of Monday, the CPSC had not initiated a recall on the spinners. “We are not involved in this one,” Patty Davis, the CPSC’s deputy communications director, told Counselor.

Research has shown that exposure to unsafe lead levels puts children at greater risk of experiencing developmental delays, learning difficulties, slowed growth, seizures and more.