Consumer Product Safety Commission wants federal standards that restrict the sale of small, powerful magnet sets, because the magnets can harm young children.
The magnet sets often are marketed as office-desk toys and aren’t intended for children. The magnets can be hazardous, because if a child swallows the magnets, they can link together and obstruct airways or perforate the intestines, CPSC says. The magnets have been associated with 1,700 emergency-room visits from 2009 to 2011, according to CPSC.
The agency didn’t outline specific standards that it would like manufacturers to apply to such magnet sets.
In July 2012, CPSC requested a sales ban on the popular magnetic desk toy Buckyballs. However, Buckyballs manufacturer Maxfield & Oberton continues to sell the product.