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Study: Fidget spinner lead content off the chart

Editor’s Note: an original version of this story stated that “WASHPIRG tested six spinners from Target and Dollar Tree and two of them contained unsafe levels.” We want to clarify that according to PIRG, of the six spinners that were tested, the only two spinners found to have lead were sold from Target, not from Dollar Tree. We have updated the story below.

SEATTLE — Hot toy, waning fad, or serious danger?

All are concerns over fidget spinners, the flashy toy aimed at kids, according to a new study released by the Washington Public Interest Research Group  (WASHPIRG).

Lab testing suggests lead levels for the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass are 330 times higher than are allowed for toys. The group claims the spinner would be pulled from the market if it was classified as a toy.

But the packaging says the spinner is for ages 14 and up, which makes it a “general use product.”

WASHPIRG tested six spinners from Target and two of them contained unsafe levels.

The group says the age gap is a loophole in the law, where those lead requirements for toys cap out at age 12.

"There`s no argument here and any parent will tell you, that this is being marketed as a children`s toy and being sold that way,” said Elise Orlick with WASHPIRG.

The safety considerations are very real too. If the lead chips off, or if young kids put the spinner in their mouths, it can be dangerous.

"When we know that there are sources in a kid's environment when there is legitimately a source that has a higher concentration, the best advice is to remove that from the child's environment,” said Dr. Catherine Karr who is affiliated with the Northwest Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, University of Washington, and Seattle Children’s.

The manufacturer and the stores say there's no reason to remove them from store shelves -- even if they sit right next to other spinners.