Testing done by Oregon moms finds high lead levels in some fidget spinners


They’re a popular toy and are probably on many children’s wish lists this year, but two Portland moms want to warn parents about fidget spinners and the high levels of lead found in some of the toys.

Local mothers and friends Tamara Rubin and Carissa Bonham have done lead testing on hundreds of the fidget spinners, and they told FOX 12 the results they found may surprise parents who have already bought one of the seemingly innocuous toys.

“I tested these not knowing what to expect and found this one to have super high lead and super high mercury, and this one which I expected to tests positive was negative,” Rubin said. “So both have the metallic finish like Mardi Gras beads, and you can’t tell which one’s going to be positive and which one’s going to be negative.”

While the acceptable level lead in toys like this is between 90 and 100 parts per million, Rubin said she found super high levels in the spinners she tested, with one test coming back at 19,000 ppm and another at 37,000 ppm.

Rubin and Bonham have tested many household items for lead over the years and said fidget spinners are only one example of a much larger problem.

Since posting these latest results on her blog, though, Rubin said families from all over the country have sent her fidget spinners.

She tested roughly 200 of them and found 30 percent to 45 percent have high levels of lead. She says the results are especially high in those with led lights, metallic coatings, or metal buttons in the center.

The two women said they are mainly concerned because these toys aren’t being pulled off store shelves, adding that part of the problem comes down to how they’re regulated.

A package that says a fidget spinner is for children 12 or over, for instance, is allowed to have potentially higher levels of lead than something specifically intended for younger children.

Thursday the advocacy organization United States Public Interest Research Group issued a national news release on the issue and called on the Consumer Products Safety Commission to consider a recall on the products.

For parents unable to run their own tests for lead and concerned about the safety of a spinner, Bonham suggests going the DIY route.

“if we’re going to choose safe fidget spinners, I think the safest option is to make one yourself out of materials you can find at home,” she said. “You can find dozens of tutorials on Pinterest.”

On her blog CreativeGreenLiving.com, Bonham even provides instructions on how parents can use Lego bricks to make a safe spinner.

For more information on the testing Rubin and Bonham did on fidget spinners, please visit TamaraRubin.com.

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