So not only are fidget spinners incredibly annoying... turns out they're potentially deadly too! One lead poisoning specialist – Tamara Rubin – recently tested a number of fidget spinners, and what she found absolutely shocked her.
The fidget spinners that Rubin tested weren't merely contaminated by lead and mercury. They contained those two elements in concentrations that are literally hundreds of times above what is considered a safe amount.
Fidget spinners are the latest craze in an object-obsessed youth culture. At this point, basically everyone under the age of 21 has a fidget spinner or at least knows someone who does.
And Tamara Rubin is officially sounding the alarm.
As a lead poisoning specialist and leading environmental activist, Rubin has access to professional (and very expensive) XRF tools that can accurately test lead and mercury levels in solid objects. She started out by testing three randomly selected fidget spinners, one with LED lights and two without.
The two LED-less spinners came back clean, but the levels of lead and mercury on the LED fidget spinner when disassembled were alarmingly high. Rubin found that it contained 19,000 parts per million (ppm) of lead and 1,000 ppm of mercury.
For reference, scientists consider 90 ppm of lead to be the safety threshold for children's toys.
After testing the inside of the LED fidget spinner, she moved on to testing the paint with which the spinners were decorated.
In one of the fidget spinner's paint samples, Rubin's test detected 334 ppm of lead and 155 ppm of mercury. The unpainted metal base contained 1,562 ppm of mercury and 2,452 ppm of lead.
What alarmed Rubin most was one of her tests on a higher end, more expensive fidget spinner from company Yomaxer. The $31 fancy fidget spinner contained a mind-blowing 42,800 ppm of lead.
Let's hope that the fidget spinner craze dies out, before the toys seriously hurt anyone.
Just like any other cheap mass-produced trinket, manufacturers will go to any and all lengths to make themselves a bigger profit. In the case of the fidget spinner, that probably meant using cheaper materials and paints that contained lead and mercury in dangerously high concentrations.
Check out a video posted by Tamara Rubin to her Facebook, in which she explains her lead testing methods and talks about the fidget spinner contamination problem, below: