A study by FOX6 News, a television station in Milwaukee, showed lead content at alarming levels on four units of fidget spinners purchased online from Amazon and Wal-Mart. The lead on a part in the fidget spinner bought from Wal-Mart.com was tested to be over 400 times the allowable limit.
Fox 6 News in Milwaukee asked a third-party testing facility to determine the presence of lead in ten samples of fidget spinners.
The test result on the fidget spinner from Wal-Mart showed a high percentage of lead in various parts, such as the arms with 34,510 ppm, one center pin with 28,048 ppm and another pin with 10,086 ppm.
The study also found three more fidget spinners from Amazon with excessive lead content as follows:
· The first unit had 38,151 parts per million (ppm) of lead on a pin.
· The test result of the second fidget spinner showed 38,308 ppm lead on its metal arms and 10, 370 ppm on its center pin. Another pin had 14,731 ppm lead.
· The third unit had excessive lead content on the following parts: 44,827 ppm lead in the arms, 17,241 ppm and 34,875 ppm in a center pin and supporting pin respectively.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that all toys and other products for children should not exceed trace amounts or 40 ppm of lead.
In response to the test results, a Wal-Mart representative assured the public that they take any product safety report as a serious matter. They have instructed the seller to remove the non-conforming item and are investigating why they were not detected and approved as safe to sell.
Amazon’s spokesperson said that safety is one of their “highest priorities.” They want their customers to be confident that the fidget spinners offered by Amazon comply with safety standards.
There are a few exceptions, but since August 2011, children’s products have been subject to a maximum level of “100 parts per million (ppm) total lead content in all accessible parts.”
“Accessible parts” as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), are those parts that any child could touch “normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of the product.”
US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), an NGO, asked the CPSC to perform its own tests and to exercise its authority to recall any non-conforming product. US PIRG also reminded the public that since lead is invisible, consumers have no way of knowing if the fidget spinner has high levels of lead or not.
Karla Crosswhite, a CPSC product specialist, said the Fox 6 report is under review by the agency.
Lead exposure has a negative impact on a child’s mental development. The damage “cannot be reversed.”
Studies have shown that even low amounts of lead in the blood can reduce IQ, academic achievement, and attentiveness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), any trace of lead found in the blood of a child is not safe.
Fox 6 News was not the only entity to test the lead content of fidget spinners and other children’s toys. Tamara Rubin, who independently advocates for the prevention of lead poisoning, tested three samples of fidget spinners in June. One out of three had excessive amounts of lead and mercury- 19,000 ppm lead and 1000 ppm of mercury.