Get the lead out: Report says fidget spinners may have dangerous level of toxins

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Fidget spinners have been the surprise hit of the first half of 2017.

But one small independent study warns that almost 20% of fidget spinners tested contained dangerous levels of lead and mercury!

Read more: Doctor urges parents to monitor kids’ usage of fidget spinners

Here’s the scoop on the fidget spinner toxins story…

There’s been a lot of outlandish reporting with headlines touting this study as an official report (which it’s not) and saying parents need to throw out all fidget spinners immediately (which they don’t necessarily).

Here’s the reality: One independent researcher tested 11 fidget spinners and found two of them contained what are undoubtedly dangerous levels of lead and some mercury.

Scientists generally consider less than 90 parts per million (ppm) of lead to be safe and acceptable in children’s toys. But one $31 spinner from Yomaxer that was tested had an outrageous amount of lead content. Using an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, the researcher got a lead content reading of 42,800 ppm on that particular model!

The Toy Association put out the following press release in May to offer these caveats to parents who wanted to buy fidget spinners for their kids:

Shop at a reputable retailer that you know and trust. Those retailers will be selling products that have been tested and comply with strict U.S. safety standards. When a craze like the fidget spinners hits, you may be tempted to buy one for your child wherever you can find one (like at a pop-up vendor on the street or from an unknown online seller), but the safety of products sold outside a reputable retailer cannot be guaranteed.

As you may know, fidget spinners are supposed to be therapeutic tools for children with ADHD and Autism. Proponents of the spinners say flicking them helps fidgety children calm down and remain focused in a classroom setting. Detractors, of course, say there’s no science to back up that claim and that they’re just a nuisance in the classroom.

If you’re concerned about fidget spinners posing a direct health threat to your children, here are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • Never put a fidget spinner anywhere near or in your mouth.
  • Buy only U.S.-made fidget spinners that conform to our nation’s safety standards. Do a Google search for “U.S. made fidget spinners” to find them.
  • Never use a fidget spinner that has loose parts. According to one doctor, those loose parts pose a choking hazard and “can obstruct the airway, obstruct breathing and cause essentially a life-threatening situation [that] could result in death.”

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