Consumer Protection Agency to ban Magnetic Balls

The CPA stopped by the offices of every maker/importer of Magnetic Ball’s to inform them they could either volenterilly stop selling them or the CPA plans to ban the product from sale within the US.

These are collections of small spherical magnets intended for an adult audience. Each product is labeled not for sale to children under 13.

They pose a health risk if swallowed. As they are individially very strong magnets they can perforate the small intestins trying to find eachother in the digestive track. It is apparently a news flash that eating things not intended for consumption can be bad for you.

The CPA claims children are dying due to this product. It is possible and even likely some children have died but it doesn’t seem to be a epidemic that needs a government solution. Googling deaths I couldn’t find any but did find a few articles that covered near death injuries caused by this product.

Do you think a ban of this product is reasonable? Why or why not?

Here are a few exaples of the product:

http://www.amazon.com/Magnet-Balls-Original-Magnetic-Collector/dp/B003D7CFTQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337354292&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/BUCKY-BALLS-Bb216-Buckyballs-Magnetic/dp/B0055ODYRW/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1337355053&sr=1-1

They want to ban something that’s not meant to be swallowed because someone might swallow it? What’s next?

Do you have a cite for the CPA action? Not that I doubt you, just want to read the article.

I think it’s stupid, but inevitable. I’ve got a set of those magnets. I don’t have kids young enough to swallow them. Back when I did have kids that young, they managed to survive the existence of dozens of items in our house just waiting to kill them - cleaning fluids, knives, hammers, power tools, firearms, bathtubs, etc. Unfortunately, it appears the owners of the magnet balls aren’t willing to treat them as dangerous items for toddlers, even though they have plenty of warnings about it.

Unreasonable. I’m not really interested in them as a toy, but I love how convenient they are for pinning things to the fridge.

Boy, “intended for an adult audience” has a whole different meaning for me than just “not intended for small children.”

I was really curious what one might get up to with magnetic balls.

I have seen these for sale in a “dollar” store in the toy section next to action figures and stuffed animals. Seems like required warning labels would be a better idea, because with the internet you CAN’T stop the sale and importation.

i can see there would be a strong attraction to them.

When lawn darts were going to be banned, a buddy of mine bought several sets. It has become a Memorial Day tradition; a bunch of drunken fools playing lawn darts. Good times.

No cite. My information is from one of the people who’s offices the CPA stopped into.

Fantastic action. These are an extreme health hazard, and I don’t know of any particular use you can find for them that isn’t available in a million other products that don’t kill people. I generally don’t like the idea of banning or proscribing things sold to adults on the basis of potential effects on children, but it’s not a bright line test. Toys are given to kids no matter what warnings are on them, ergo, we shouldn’t have toys that kill kids.

In terms of actual utility, it’s perfectly reasonable to put similar magnets in plastic casings that are much harder for kids to swallow and, therefore, don’t pose nearly the danger.

–Cliffy

Actually, I do doubt this and would like to see a cite. A search for “Consumer Protection Agency to ban Magnetic Balls” only turns up this thread. There is a Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection, but no Federal Consumer Protection Agency.

Sorry sounds like a bunch of look at the big scary government boogey man stuff.

Yes my history on this board of talking about scary big government boogy men can back up your accusation.

If you want to accuse me of lying feel free to take it to the pit.

there may be a labeling issue; they aren’t legal if labeled “Ages 13+”, they are legal (i believe) if labeled “Keep Away From All Children”.

But they only kill kids young enough to put everything in their mouth. They don’t kill 13 year olds or anything. And there are plenty of toys that we do let 13 year olds have that would be choking hazards for a 2 year old.

They can have my balls when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Bucky balls orginally had labeling ‘not for children under 12’ They got in a bit of legal trouble for that as 13 is the seperating line required. Magnet Balls had no warning label at the time so didn’t have that issue. Imediatly afterwords both companies now use two labels ‘not intented for children under 13’ and ‘keep away from children’.

Asking for a citation is not accusing you of being a liar, it’s just asking for a citation for your assertion that this is happening. Relax.

Thirteen year old girl nearly dies swallowing magnetic ball bearings

It looks like the problem these pose for older kids is that they are using them as fake tongue and lip piercings. I do not agree they should be banned, however. Proper labeling should be enough.

from cpsc

i don’t see other information there with a quick look. do you have any?

Looks like the little tykes will have to go back to swallowing cow magnets