200,000 fidget spinners seized in two weeks over safety fears

The popular toy may not meet minimum EU product safety standards and could pose a risk to children

Boys look over a variety of fidget spinners at a shop in Manhattan. Phtotgraph: Jackie Molloy/The New York Times

Boys look over a variety of fidget spinners at a shop in Manhattan. Phtotgraph: Jackie Molloy/The New York Times

 

Around 200,000 fidget spinners have been seized in the past fortnight due to safety fears.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said it recently became concerned that some fidget spinners for sale in Ireland may not meet minimum EU product safety standards and “this could pose a potential risk to consumers”. The popular toy consists of a central ballbearing, around which spins two to three prongs. It resembles a metal frisbee or boomerang.

The CCPC, in collaboration with Revenue and Customs, has suspended the importation of approximately 200,000 fidget spinners since May 8th.

“We are currently examining samples of those products. If we find that products are uncompliant with product safety legislation, the products may be sent back to where they originally came from or destroyed,” the CCPC said in a statement.

“Our examinations are ongoing, however, so far the CCPC has found that some fidget spinners have a number of non-compliant characteristics.”

It said the non-compliant characteristics included: no visible CE mark, non-compliant or fake CE marks, no small parts warning and they contained parts that easily detach and pose a serious choking hazard.

Consumers have been advised to look for a CE mark, which should be “visible and easily legible” while the box or packaging should contain the name and contact details of the manufacturer and/or importer.

The CCPC said to check if the fidget spinner has any detachable small parts that could lodge in the ears, nose or throat. It added “be wary of buying these products on social media or from a street vendor that may not be an established business”.

The CCPC also reminded businesses that manufacture, import, distribute or sell toys in Ireland that they have a duty “to ensure the goods they sell are safe and compliant”.