Zen Magnets Presents CPSC with Petition to Cease Magnet Prohibition
A rare-earth magnets company is trying to halt the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from banning magnet spheres.
Shihan Qu, founder of Zen Magnets, Boulder, Colo., started a change.org petition to rally together those against banning the rare-earth magnets. Qu hand-delivered 5,000 signatures Feb. 17 to acting commissioner Robert Adler at the Toy Industry Association Inc.'s Toy Fair in New York City, according to Save Magnets, a Zen-sponsored blog. As of press time, it had 5,035 signatures.
Since government pressure ended Buckyballs and 11 other competitors' existences, Zen is one of the last magnetic-ball companies still standing as it refuses to comply with CPSC's order to launch a recall and discontinue sales, according to The Denver Post (Buckyballs also did not back down, selling all of its remaining inventory before it stopped selling the item in question, according to Inc.). Qu's refusal to quit resulted in a bump in sales as competitors shut down business. In Zen's Magnets frequently asked questions section, it answers if the company is still in business with "Yes, we certainly are. Still proudly fighting the CPSC, and we shall continue to our last drop of cash-flow blood."
In November 2011, the CPSC issued its first warning on the danger of these high-powered magnets, citing more than 200 magnet-swallowing reports, with at least 18 requiring immediate surgery. Those magnets are prohibited in children's toys, but these products are labeled as not intended for children. But youngsters are still getting their hands on the products and sometimes swallowing them. Reported incidents involved children age 18 months to 15 years old.
In July 2012, the CPSC filed a federal lawsuit against Buckyballs' parent company, (which Buckyball's co-founder Chris Zucker is currently fighting,) seeking to have the company alert the public of the problem, voluntarily recall its products and offer full refunds. CPSC also requested that 12 other manufacturers voluntarily recall the products, according to a press release. All of them except for Zen complied, so in August 2012, the CPSC filed a similar federal lawsuit against Zen.