A report by PIRG Education Fund, a nonprofit, found that two types of fidget spinners sold by Target have dangerous, illegal levels of lead in their making — nearly 330 times more than the federal legal limit. Target, however, is pushing back on the report, as they say the legal limit for lead that PIRG cites is only applicable for children’s toys. Company representatives argue that a fidget spinner is not a toy because such products are not intended for kids 14 and older.
Per the Washington Post, a Target spokesman said in an email that the company isn’t breaking any laws because, technically, the fidget spinner is neither marketed as a toy nor is it technically for children. The labeling on the product indicates that it is supposed to be for kids ages “14 and up.” In a legal sense, lead regulations only refer to toys that are marketed for children 12 and under.
But one of the fidget spinners with a dangerous amount of lead — the “Fidget Wild Spinner Premium Brass” — is actually labeled for kids nearly half that age. It’s a “6 and up” product. Furthermore, per Business Insider the products are sold alongside kids toys. So, while one of their fidget spinners may be marketed to “14 and up” kids, it doesn’t mean anything if they’re being sold alongside LEGO playsets and Barbie dolls.
PRIG is calling for Target to issue a recall on the fidget spinners. But Target doesn’t appear to be backing down, not even to claims that they should move the fidget spinners to another section of the store.
Kara Cook-Schultz, toxics director for U.S. PIRG, told the Washington Post. “Saying fidget spinners aren’t toys defies common sense, as millions of parents whose kids play with spinners can tell you.”