Target is selling fidget spinners that have up to 330 times the legal limit for lead allowed in children’s toys, a consumer protection group says.
But, the retail chain is defending the products and keeping them on shelves–saying they are not toys but “general use products” that are not meant for kids.
The spinners’ distributor, Bulls i Toy, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission both agreed with Target, and argued that they are not subject to the same restrictions as other children’s toys.
“The two fidget spinners cited are clearly marked on the package as ‘appropriate for customers aged 14 and older,’ and are not marketed to children,” Target told the Washington Post.
“As a result, the fidget spinners identified are not regulated as toys or children’s products and are not required to meet children’s product standards.”
Target told CBS News the company had reviewed the products and decided there was no need to remove them from shelves.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) said on Wednesday that two variants of fidget spinner sold by Target exceed the legal lead limits for children’s toys.
Lab tests conducted by the ground found that one of the spinners had 33,000 parts per million (ppm) of lead in its center circle.
The legal limit for children’s toys is 100 ppm.
Kara Cook-Schultz, toxics director at the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, told Fortune: “Saying fidget spinners aren’t toys defies common sense, as millions of parents whose kids play with spinners can tell you.”
Prolonged exposure to lead can cause developmental problems in children, including cognitive losses.