Proposed Rule: September 4, 2012
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).
Briefing Package: Final Rule on 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