New York Senator Seeks to Ban Sale of Toy Magnets
A U.S. Senator has asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to halt the sale of popular high-powered magnet desk toys. Junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the CPSC asking it to "remove these dangerous products from the retail market to decrease the potential access children may have."
Gillibrand cited 43 cases of children swallowing the magnets since 2010, with half of the reported incidents requiring surgical procedures to remove the items. The small, ball-bearing magnets can become attached in a child's stomach or intestinal lining, pinching the organs and causing serious damage. Intestinal blockage and blood poisoning can also occur and can be fatal.
The CPSC last addressed the issue in November 2011, when it issued a warning regarding small toy magnets and recommended parents keep them out of the hands of children. In 2010 the CPSC issued a recall of Buckyballs High Powered Magnet Sets for not meeting certain toy safety labeling standards.
Although it has been illegal to sell or market the magnetic balls to children under 14 since 2008, Sen. Gillibrand's request would bar the sale of all similar products. Several promotional products suppliers sell magnetic balls as executive desk toys, and while these items are intended only for adults, they would also be prohibited.
Sen. Gillibrand has previously lobbied the CPSC with success. In 2010, she joined several other senators to introduce legislation banning the use of cadmium of children's jewelry. The CPSC endorsed voluntary industry standards for children's jewelry in March 2012.
The CPSC has not responded publicly to Sen. Gillibrand's letter at this time. Stay tuned to Promo Marketing for more information as the story develops.