Fidget spinners are the latest craze that seemingly burst on the scene out of nowhere, however our friends at America’s Freedom Fighters are sounding the alarm that they might not be all fun and video games.
It seems the gadgets, which use ballbearings and well balanced blades inside plastic casing to spin, have been found in many cases to contain dangerous amounts of lead and mercury.
All fidget spinners? Obviously not. The issue, however, is that there are no patents governing who can and cannot manufacture them, and little-to-no way to confirm which ones are made under quality assurance and which ones are from places like China where anything goes.
AFF’s Brett MacDonald notes:
Just recently, 200,000 units of the popular toy were seized by EU customs officials for failing to adhere with the health standards set by the Union.
AFF also cites Tamara Rubin, an anti-lead-poisoning activist, who tested several fidget spinner samples:
Two were lead-free, however one had very high levels of lead and some mercury. She then disassembled a fidget spinner with LED lights and discovered both lead and mercury. She found 19,000 ppm (parts per million) of lead and 1,000 ppm of mercury.
These numbers are sobering because scientists consider under 90 ppm of lead to be the safe threshold in children’s toys, according to Rubin. But the paint on the LED light spinner contained 334 ppm of lead and 155 ppm of mercury in one test. The unpainted metal base contained 1,562 ppm of mercury and 2,452 ppm of lead.
Rubin later tested six more fidget spinners and found a $31 from Yomaxer which contained 42,800 ppm of lead. She noted ordinary customers won’t have access to an XRF instrument, which can cost around $50,000.
Wow, who expected 2017 would bring us a tested of the days where parents had to worry about the likes of lead paint on Matchbox cars? Of course, this sort of problem isn’t really as outdated as we like to think; in 2015, CNN reported on the discovery of asbestos in crayons and other toys imported from– again– China.
It’s another reminder that parenting requires constant vigilance– even from the most unexpected places.