According to ABC News, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that two models of fidget spinners being sold nationwide at Target contained "extremely high" levels of lead in the metal and coating.
MASSPIRG said the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will not hold these fidget spinners to federal lead standards applicable to toys because they only consider a fidget spinner a toy if it is labeled for 12 or under.
The watchdog group is calling on US government safety organizations to change the classification of fidget spinners so they will have to meet federal regulations for children's products.
The group said its testers found the items in Target toy aisles around the country.
"The reason that lead is a large concern - especially in children's products - is that when children are exposed to high levels of lead they can experience things like memory loss, learning disabilities", she said.
Portia de Rossi accuses Steven Seagal of sexual harassment in Twitter post
Portia de Rossi has claimed Steven Seagal once "unzipped his leather pants" when she was auditioning for one of his movies. After she refused and ran to her vehicle , McCarthy said he followed her outside and told her not to tell anyone "or else".
The group continues to test other spinners from other retailers as part of its annual holiday toy testing project.
"While these two products comply with all CPSC guidelines for fidget spinners, based on the concerns raised, we're removing them from our assortment", said Jenna Reck, senior communications manager at Target.
"Alarmingly, when PIRG notified the CPSC about the elevated lead levels in the fidget spinners, the CPSC responded in an email that these fidget spinners are general use products, not children's products", the group said in its report. Target also appears to have made the "brass" fidget spinner unavailable online, though they were apparently still on store shelves as of Friday.
The manufacturer of the specific model, Bulls-I-Toy, wrote in a statement: "There are no mandatory CPSC requirements for it". Lead exposure is particularly damaging for young children because of its impact on development. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires all children's products to not exceed a total lead content level of 100 ppm.
"Even small amounts of lead in toys can be ingested when transferred from fingers to mouth or from fingers to food", U.S. PIRG quotes a national lead expert Helen Binns, M.D., pediatrician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, as having said. "A toy that has 33,000 parts per million of lead in it represents a hazard to a child". "Lead harms the developing brain and is easily ingested through normal hand to mouth behaviors".