May 21, 2024

Fidget spinners might contain deadly levels of lead

I think the day I realised that I was too old for everything, was the day I found out about fidget spinners. I don’t understand them, I don’t get why they’re so popular and if you gave me one I wouldn’t know what to do with it. If I fancy fidgeting with something, I’ll pop my hand in my pocket, slide my fingers underneath my boxe… no but seriously, I just don’t get them.

I’m glad, then, that they might soon be a thing of the past, because “lead specialist” Tamara Rubin has discovered that a load of them contain very unsafe levels of lead.

She tested a bunch of spinners with her fancy “XRF instrument” – a device used to detect lead – and it turned out that bar a few lead-free gadgets, a good number contained dangerous levels. Oh yeah, and mercury.

Firstly, she tested three spinners – one with LED lights (what) and two without. The ones without LED lights were fine, but the flashy-washy one contained 19,000 parts per million (ppm) of lead and 1,000 ppm of mercury. The official threshold for what is deemed safe in children’s toys is 90 ppm, btw. So it’s way over, basically. Don’t eat them.

She also tested a “high-end”, expensive, $31 spinner (why would anyone spend more than £5 on one?), and it was found to contain a ridiculous 42,800 ppm of lead.

So yeah, you’re all going to die.


Or not, because it’s worth noting that Tamara Rubin is quite obsessed with lead. She has an entire website about lead. A website that contains the following joke:

Why didn’t the chicken cross the road?

Because it was lead poisoned and had a staggered gait.

A website that contains a recipe for “lead-free hot cocoa”, because normal hot chocolate is full of lead, supposedly.

A website that contains the following passage:

“After interviewing nearly a dozen contractors, the Rubins chose a painting contractor who said he was certified in the lead-safe work practices that were required to safely repaint the exterior.

“Unfortunately, he lied – they later learned he had failed the lead-safe work practices certification exam; in fact, he used the most dangerous methods possible to prepare their home for painting (open flame torch burning, dry scraping and pressure washing) and their children were instantly poisoned…”

So, essentially, she has an extreme and life-consuming infatuation with lead. She’s like one of those people who can always smell gas. Someone that can always hear dogs. Someone who’s always covered in spiders.

So really, take her advice with a pinch of lead – I highly doubt that your fidget spinner will poison you. Of course, if you take it apart and suck on the inner pieces until they dissolve in your mouth over the course of a year, then maybe you’ll get a bit ill – but not touching a fidget spinner because your entire family will die is taking it a bit far.


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