Magnet Sets

Final Rule: Oct. 3, 2014

Effective Date: April 1, 2015

 

Based on available data, the 
U.S. Consumer Product Safety 
Commission (the Commission, the 
CPSC, or we) has determined 
preliminarily that there may be an 
unreasonable risk of injury associated 
with children ingesting high-powered 
magnets that are part of magnet sets. 
These magnet sets are aggregations of 
separable, permanent, magnetic objects 
intended or marketed by the 
manufacturer primarily as a 
manipulative or construction desk toy 
for general entertainment, such as 
puzzle working, sculpture building, 
mental stimulation, or stress relief. In 
contrast to ingesting other small parts, 
when a child ingests a magnet, the 
magnetic properties of the object can 
cause serious, life-threatening injuries. 
When children ingest two or more of the 
magnets, the magnetic forces pull the 
magnets together, and the magnets 
pinch or trap the intestinal walls or 
other digestive tissue between them, 
resulting in acute and long-term health 
consequences. Although magnet sets 
have only been available since 2008, we 
have determined that an estimated 1,700 
ingestions of magnets from magnet sets 
were treated in emergency departments 
between January 1, 2009 and December 
31, 2011. 
To address the unreasonable risks of 
serious injury associated with these 
magnet sets, the Commission is issuing 
this notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPR), which would prohibit such 
magnet sets. Under the proposal, if a 
magnet set contains a magnet that fits 
within the CPSC’s small parts cylinder, 
magnets from that set would be required 
to have a flux index of 50 or less, or they 
would be prohibited. The flux index 
would be determined by the method 
described in ASTM F963–11, Standard 
Consumer Safety Specification for Toy 
Safety. 
The Commission solicits written 
comments concerning the risks of injury 
associated with these magnet sets, the 
regulatory alternatives discussed in this 
NPR, other possible ways to address 
these risks, and the economic impacts of 
the various regulatory alternatives. This 
proposed rule is issued under the 
authority of the Consumer Product 
Safety Act (CPSA). 

Based on available data, CPSC has determined preliminarily that there may be an unreasonable risk of injury associated with children ingesting high-powered magnets that are part of magnet sets. These magnet sets are aggregations of separable, permanent, magnetic objects intended or marketed by the manufacturer primarily as a manipulative or construction desk toy for general entertainment, such as puzzle working, sculpture building, mental stimulation, or stress relief. In contrast to ingesting other small parts, when a child ingests a magnet, the magnetic properties of the object can cause serious, life-threatening injuries. When children ingest two or more of the magnets, the magnetic forces pull the magnets together, and the magnets pinch or trap the intestinal walls or other digestive tissue between them, resulting in acute and long-term health consequences. Although magnet sets have only been available since 2008, we have determined that an estimated 1,700 ingestions of magnets from magnet sets were treated in emergency departments between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011. 

 

To address the unreasonable risks of serious injury associated with these magnet sets, the Commission has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR), which would prohibit such magnet sets. Under the proposal, if a magnet set contains a magnet that fits within the CPSC’s small parts cylinder, magnets from that set would be required to have a flux index of 50 or less, or they would be prohibited. The flux index would be determined by the method described in ASTM F963–11, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. This proposed rule has been issued under the authority of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA)

 

Final Rule

Briefing Package: Final Rule on Safety Standard for Magnet Sets

Related Resources: 

Magnets Infromation Center

 

Historical Documents

Proposed Rule

Video: Commission Meeting: Decisional Matter - Safety Standard for Magnet Sets - Final Rule

Video: Commission Meeting: Final Rule - Safety Standard for Magnet Sets 

Video: Public Hearing on Proposed Magnet Set Safety Standard

Safety Standard for Magnet Sets Public Comments

Ballot Vote Sheet: Safety Standard for Magnet Sets