In Battle with CPSC, Zen Magnets Issues Voluntary Safety Standard
Zen Magnets, the largest vendor of magnetic spheres in the U.S. now that Buckyballs vendor Maxfield and Oberton has closed down, has recently begun selling its products in physical storefronts, as opposed to online-only. As a result of this move to physical space, the company has issued a new voluntary sales standard for safety purposes. Along with the current safety requirements required of the magnet spheres, the new standards require any retail stores selling the products to abide by the following:
- Customer must be 18+ to purchase magnets
- Location must have an age floor of 18+ or 21+, or age must be otherwise verified by Government ID.
- All stores must verbally remind customers to keep magnets away from mouths.
As of this writing, Zen Magnets are being sold in eight stores around Colorado. Two cannabis dispensaries (which are 21 and over) five vape/pipe shops (which are 18 and over), and one science store which checks all IDs before purchase.
In its press release, Zen Magnets does not state the intent of this voluntary standard beyond moving into physical retail space and caring for the public safety. However, reading between the lines of the company's press release, it would seem this is a move to protect itself from the CPSC and avoid the fate of fellow magnet vendor Maxfield and Oberton, which was effectively shuttered by CPSC actions. The tiny magnetic spheres have long been a focus of the CPSC, which has been issuing recalls for them for years due to the risk of injury if swallowed. Because of their small size and attractive power, if two or more magnets are swallowed, they can cause intestinal bleeding or tearing.