Illinois PIRG Trouble in Toyland Report Finds Lead in Popular Fidget Spinners

Illinois PIRG Trouble in Toyland Report Finds Lead in Popular Fidget Spinners

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Illinois Public Research Interest Research Group (PIRG) releases its annual toy safety report Trouble in Toyland. This year’s report finds popular fidget spinners with high levels of lead for sale at stores across the country. When tested by PIRG labs, many fidget spinners indicated they contained unhealthy amounts of lead -some well over the federal legal limit of 100 parts per million (ppm) for lead in children’s products.

Lab results showed two fidget spinners contained extremely high levels of lead:

  • Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass:
    • The center circle tested for 33,000 parts per million (ppm) of lead.
  • Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal:
    • The center circle tested for 1,300 ppm of lead.

Lead exposure is particularly damaging for young children because of its impact on development. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to undermine IQ, attentiveness, and academic achievement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes clear that any amount of lead in a child’s blood is unsafe. Moreover, since the effects of lead exposure cannot be reversed, it is especially important to prevent lead exposure to children in the first place.

“Even small amounts of lead in toys can be ingested when transferred from fingers to mouth or from fingers to food,” says national lead expert Helen Binns, MD, MPH, Director of Lead Evaluation Clinic and Nutrition Evaluation Clinic at Lurie Children’s. “Lead harms the developing brain and is easily ingested through normal hand to mouth behaviors. Beware of these fidget spinners, as they have dangerous amounts of lead.”

Trouble in Toyland annual report

Read Illinois PIRG’s full 2017 Trouble in Toyland report here. For over 30 years, the Illinois PIRG Education Fund’s Trouble in Toyland report has offered safety guidelines for purchasing toys for small children. Over the years, their reports have led to over 150 recalls and other enforcement actions.

Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund (hyperlink to c3 website), is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety, or well-being.

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