A Whole Lotta Lead In Fidget Spinners! Episode 2 (Video)

Please watch this video… I took apart a fidget spinner (one with L.E.D. flashing lights) and tested all the pieces in a couple of different ways… and found both high levels of lead and high levels of mercury! The lead level was as much as 19,000+ ppm lead, and the mercury level in the base of the toy was higher than 1,000 ppm (PPM = Parts Per Million, as detected with an XRF Instrument!)

Below the video there’s a breakdown of key points. Thank you for watching!

Later this same day (Monday!) I tested 6 more fidgets and spinners and found ANOTHER leaded fidget spinner with more than  TWICE as much lead as the one on this post.
Click here to see today’s second #FidgetSpinner video (just 4 minutes) and post!

If you appreciate what I do (as an independent lead poisoning prevention advocate)…and are in a position to support my advocacy work with a contribution to my GoFundMe, that would be greatly appreciated!


Key points in the video:

  1. These fidget spinners can come apart immediately (with in a minute or two of being played with.)
  2. The paint on the spinners appears to be likely positive for lead and mercury (in the 50 to 400 ppm range), in the first test on this video the results are 334 ppm lead and 155 ppm mercury (for the exterior/ painted component)
  3. The L.E.D. light component immediately pops out of the body of the spinner when it comes apart.
  4. The L.E.D. component has more than 19,500 ppm lead in the solder on the battery.
  5. Because the toy breaks immediately in normal use by a child, the battery is available /accessible to children and should not be considered “safe” under the CPSC exemption/loophole for toys with batteries.
  6. Batteries (without the lead solder) if swallowed could poison – or easily kill – a child [lots of documented cases of this, sadly!].
  7. This small, easily ingestible LED element with lead solder would easily and quickly poison a child, both from normal hand-to-mouth activity and also if ingested.
  8. The toxicity level for lead in children’s toys (the level at which a toy is considered unsafe) is 90 ppm lead or higher.
  9. The metal base of the toy (the unpainted part / the compartment for holding the light) is positive for high levels of both lead and mercury. The test I did in this video came in at 1,562 ppm mercury and 2,452 ppm lead (in the bare metal /chamber for the LED). [So it is possible the exterior readings for lead and mercury in point #2 above, (which are lower levels) are reading the substrate toxicity through the paint, which may be lead and mercury free.]
  10. The solder on the battery (as one might expect) immediately tests positive (pink) for lead with a LeadCheck swab.
  11. The interior of the chamber that holds the light also tested positive with a LeadCheck swab. [This may be contamination from the micro-dust created by the solder on the light element.]
  12. As an ordinary consumer, without access to an XRF instrument, you cannot know if your particular spinner is lead-free or leaded (or mercury-free – or mercury-contaminated.)
  13. We give this toy a rating of “F” – and recommend avoiding these toys until further notice (or making your own out of known safe components – like legos!)


25 Responses to A Whole Lotta Lead In Fidget Spinners! Episode 2 (Video)

  1. Jenn P May 30, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    What background info do you have on the fidget spinners you tested such as brand or company that made them?

    • Tamara May 30, 2017 at 10:59 am #

      None of them were marked with brand info. I found the brass one online and the details are in that post/ video.

      • Erica Brito June 9, 2017 at 8:11 am #

        Hello, I’m inquiring about your post on ” would you like me to test your fidget spinner” comment you posted above. How would I go about, and what are the costs associated ? Thank you for your work and dedication !

        • Tamara June 9, 2017 at 10:45 am #

          Please read the whole post, all of the details are in it. Thank you!

  2. Barb May 30, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

    Just suggestion…change your font to black, instead of gray (or find a way to make the text contrast better; the contrast would make the page easier to read. I want to read your message, but I can’t get past the light font. Sorry!

    • Tamara May 31, 2017 at 8:37 am #


  3. Aimee May 31, 2017 at 11:17 pm #

    Where can I purchase lead/mercury/cadmium free fidget spinners? What brands are safe? Thanks!

  4. Aimee June 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    I’d like to know where you purchased the safe fidget spinners and/or what brand they are. They all look so much alike to me, lol. Thanks so much, I really appreciate your time and help!

  5. Jen June 1, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

    Are these only dangerous if parts are ingested?

    • Jettison June 4, 2017 at 11:18 pm #

      No. Lead is unsafe with skin contact, especially since hands and fingers go in the mouth all they time

  6. Michelle June 2, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    Did the Lead free spinner test positive or negative for mercury ?
    What brand/company is the spinner that is lead free ?

    • Tamara June 2, 2017 at 11:49 am #

      I don’t yet have enough information to generalize which brands are lead-free, I am going to be doing another round of testing the weekend of June 16th.

  7. Casey June 2, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

    Do you have a chart up of how many you’ve tested and your findings? What percentage so far have been unsafe?

    • Tamara June 3, 2017 at 9:26 am #

      not yet.

  8. Natasha June 3, 2017 at 6:47 am #

    Thank you for sharing, my sons lead level was first tested and elevated November 2015. Having our home checked and still no answers the last thing we need is a toy raising it. Thank you for your research.

    • Diane June 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

      Have your outside dirt checked too, Natasha. Our neighbors scraping lead paint from their exteriors went airborne to our yard, elevating our children too. Scary stuff.

      • Natasha June 4, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

        Thank you we did, we had an environmentalist check our soil, water and even the town checked their water system.

        • Diane June 4, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

          Hang in there, I know how scary it is. If it is any consolation, 10 years later and my kids are super smart, kicking butt in honors in school. I know what it feels like without knowing where the lead is coming from.

          • Teya Coutts June 5, 2017 at 11:04 am #

            Are the plastic ones a bit safer? Still with the thing in the middle

          • Tamara June 5, 2017 at 11:09 am #

            I think they may be… I haven’t tested enough to be 100% sure, but from the testing I did, they appear to be the safest (from a toxicity standpoint!)

  9. K. Jung Il June 3, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

    did any contain weponized uranium or plutonium, or other warhead material that could reach the US?

    • Tamara June 4, 2017 at 1:20 pm #


  10. Jeff B June 4, 2017 at 7:24 am #

    Just wondering if you’ve tested the bearings themselves. I have a 3D printer and have thought about buying the bearings to make my own.

  11. Ahmed June 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    I would love to send our spinners at WITPs for testing, but simply can’t afford to send so many spinners haha.

  12. Jackie June 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

    I would like how to find out if my Fidget spinner has lead in it.

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