A lab test by the non-profit PIRG Education Fund found that two fidget spinners sold at the retailer far exceeded the legal limit for lead in children's toys. The center circle of the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass tested for 33,000 parts per million of lead, the group said.
However, Target and the manufacturer claim that these spinners are recommended for consumers over the age of 14, which means that CPSC lead restrictions for children do not apply on those products.
The CPSC told PIRG that fidget spinners are classified as "general use products", and the package stated they were for ages 14 and older.
The CDC says there is no such thing as a safe level of lead in the bloodstream, and that lead poisoning in children can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems such as ADHD and criminal behavior, and hearing and speech problems.
The two companies defended the sale of the fidget spinners by arguing that they are not technically children's products and therefore not subject to legal limits for lead. The CPSC, Target and Bulls i Toy need to acknowledge the obvious - that all fidget spinners are toys.
Lead exposure can be extremely unsafe for children, potentially impacting mental development among other risks.
"Safety is one of our top priorities", said a Bulls i Toy spokesperson in an email to the Washington Post.
The two brands of fidget spinners identified by USPIRG were the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass and the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal. "All of our product are tested and comply with [Consumer Product Safety Commission] safety standards".
He went on to say that Target has received the lead testing results. Furthermore, per Business Insider the products are sold alongside kids toys.
U.S. PIRG publishes an annual report on toy safety, which has led to more than 150 product recalls and regulatory actions over the past 30 years.