CPSC estimates 1,700 ER-treated magnet ingestion cases between 2009 and 2011. Proposed rule aims to address serious safety risks.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted 4 to 0 to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at developing a new federal standard for small, high-powered magnet sets.
CPSC staff estimates that small, high powered magnet sets were associated with 1,700 emergency room-treated injuries between 2009 and 2011. The majority of injuries (70 percent) have been to children 4 to 12 years of age.
Many of these magnet sets are marketed as sculptures, puzzles, and stress relievers and are labeled not for use by children. However, CPSC staff believes these magnet sets have strong appeal to children and pose a potential for high-severity injuries.
If swallowed, these magnets can link together inside a child's intestines and clamp onto body tissues, causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death. Internal damage from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects.
The proposed mandatory standard would set performance requirements for magnet sets based on their size and strength. Magnet sets that do not meet the performance requirement could not be sold as a manipulative or a desk toy.
The proposed rule has a 75 day public comment period.
See more about magnet dangers at CPSC's magnets information center at www.cpsc.gov/magnets.
Statements from the Commissioners
- Statement from Commissioner Nancy Nord
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.