Beware of this fidget spinner at Target -- it has 300 times the allowable amount of lead

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The ad-copy just writes itself:

The Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass - now with 33,000 parts per million for lead! Over 25 times more than the leading competitor!

Enjoy that special tingling in the hands and feet you only get with the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass!

Accept no substitutes!


Yeah I’m calling a little bit of BS on that… my 5 yo uses fidget spinners. Note that he can’t use them well as his hands are too small…

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I’m thinking Target and the manufacturer could be legally exposed if this is their position - do they id anyone buying this spinner to make sure they over 14? Do they make it clear on the packaging that it is intended only for kids over 14?

It makes you wonder how many products are out there containing lead in large amounts, simply because they are not “intended” for people under 14.


So before I got out my pitchfork, I wanted to see what some of the other allowable lead percentages were out there. It was rather hard as there are a lot of regs with different units of measurements.

But I did find PAINT, an it is only 90ppm. So… yeah. Seems a bit high there.


Paint chips aren’t toys either yet those aren’t allowed to have lead in them.

Why do they allow any amount of lead in anything that doesn’t absolutely need it (e.g. lead shielding)?


I guess the new question will be, “Did you play with a lot of fidget spinners when you were a kid?”


Oh, for fuck’s sake!

When you put lead on the outside of a product, in the form of paint, then sure, there’s legitimate concern for small children putting it in their mouths.

The lead in a fidget spinner is not in paint, it’s weight, it helps the damn thing spin. And it’s not on the outside in the form of paint, it’s inside, surrounded by plastic.

Referencing the lead content in parts per thousand like it’s an ingredient, is bullshit. It’s not an ingredient, it’s a component. You can take one apart, point to the piece that’s composed of %100, lead and say, “don’t put this part in your mouth!”

If these things are a hazard like lead acid batteries, or fishing weights, talk about that. But comparing this stuff to lead in paint is just dumb FUD - mongering.

Usually I like it when boingboing points out teh stupid in this world, but when you’re adding more stupid noise of your own, you become the problem.


I am not sure how this item is constructed. Would dropping it say on concrete allow it to be exposed? Because if so, it will end up on hands and then mouths.

If there isn’t a realistic way for the average person to be exposed through normal use (i.e. don’t cut it in half) then I would have to agree this isn’t really a big concern. But if there is a way for it to become exposed, then it is.

Fishing weights are lead (and you put them in your mouth!) as are most bullets, some RPG miniatures, and other items. So lead in a non-toy item isn’t that uncommon. But I guess the danger is when something has lead in it with out the user knowing and gets exposed to it.

While we are on the subject, WTF is up with Christmas lights having warnings for lead? Its copper wire, plastic, glass, and what ever filament is inside. Is it the filaments?

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“Lead is intentionally applied to the polyvinylchloride (PVC) coating on the wiring of the lights, to prevent the plastic from cracking and crumbling, to protect the string of lights from heat and moisture, and to act as a flame retardant. Alternatives to lead do exist, but they tend to be more expensive.”, [sauce]


From the picture accompanying the article, it appears the problem is the metal the spinner is made from.


Environmental lead is a concern I can wrap my head around. But invoking the rules for baby toys is just idiotic. If a kid has the manual dexterity to use a fidget spinner, than it’s not going in her mouth.

Uh - what about hand to mouth contact? Lots of kids put shit in their mouth they shouldn’t and while my kid is less likely to put toys in her mouth, she is always got her fingers in her mouth for one reason or another. (Again, not sure if this is an actual risk or not, but going on that assumption.)

Same with me when I go to the range, always wash your hands when done, double especially before you eat because of the risk of hand to mouth transfer from handling lead.


On January 1, 2010, the maximum amount of lead in “lead-free brass” in California was reduced from 4% to 0.25% lead.

4% seems like a lot of something to label it free of something. Whole milk is about 3.5% milkfat, but I guess with the right standard we could call it fat free.


I think part of the problem is that toddlers and young kids get hold of these things and put them in their mouths. I suppose it is less of a risk to older children and teenagers, but there are plenty of younger ones that play with these things. And as @davide405 points out, the lead can leach out of brass to the surface of the toy.

I see that the box does say 14+, so it doesn’t appear that they are actively marketing to children under 14.

Thankfully, it looks like the fad is dying.

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OK, why the hell is there lead in the damn thing at all? I can;t say as I recall brass containing lead as part of the recipe.

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This presumes no young child finds one. Plus, look around a large office environment and count the number of pencils with chew marks or other things alleged adults might gnaw on when fidgeting.

Even grown-ups put the damnedest things in their mouths.

And since there is no purpose served by having lead in it, then it does not belong there any more than any other serious toxin should. Might as well cadmium-plate it too so it will look nice and shiny.


On the up side: it spins longer.


Most alloy metals machine a lot easier if they have some lead in them. Adding lead to steel, aluminum and brass makes them much easier to work with. As a hobby machinist I use a lot of free machining metals for that reason. It’s probably not good for them to have lead in them, but it’s probably not really a risk factor for lead poisoning either.