7 deaths linked to small magnets found in toys, US warns

7 deaths linked to small magnets found in toys, US warns

A federal safety agency warned this week that small and powerful magnets have been linked to seven deaths after ingestion, announcing voluntary recall of a company of a set of toys containing such magnets and issuing warnings about six other companies offering similar toys.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday it is aware of seven deaths, including two outside the United States, and about 2,400 emergency room visits between 2017 and 2021 linked to the ingestion of small, high-powered magnets. .

The danger is that they could easily become attached with magnets or other metal objects, making them even more dangerous if swallowed with another object. Even swallowed alone, the small magnetic beads are at risk of perforation or blockage of the intestinesblood poisoning or death, the commission said.

Last year, the commission approved a new safety standard for small magnets, requiring that products be either too large to swallow or weak enough to reduce the risk of internal injury if ingested.

In tests, the magnets, made of rare earth metals and measuring five millimeters, or about the size of a pea, fell within the limits set by the commission. cylinder for small partswhich is approximately the size of the fully dilated throat of a child under 3 years old.

This year, at least seven companies sold products that did not meet the new standard. Those businesses were not linked to the deaths or injuries, said commission representative Patty Davis.

The commission provided no additional information on the names of the companies that manufactured the products linked to the deaths and injuries.

The commission tested the toys, some of which are small, separate metal balls that can be sculpted, and found the magnets were too small, too strong or both, Ms. Davis said.

“If you have children in your home, these can be deadly,” she said.

A company, XpressGoods of Raleigh, North Carolina, recalled and offered refunds for a set of small colorful magnets, it had been sold as neodymium magic magnet balls. The recall affected approximately 700 units sold online between July 2021 and May 2022. The company could not be reached for comment Friday.

The commission warned consumers against these other products: SplishSplashFun’s SplishSplash Balls Reusable Water Balloons; MXN Commerce Inc. Carrara Magnetic Ball Sets; Magic QQs Mixed Color Magnetic Ball Sets, 216 Pieces; Ming Tai Trade 5 mm magnetic ball sets, 216 pieces; Sunny house Sets of 125 5mm mixed color magnetic balls and that of Allvre 5 mm magnetic ball sets, 216 pieces.

“These companies have refused to do recalls, so we are going directly to consumers,” Ms. Davis said. “You must stop using them immediately. “Throw them away.”

SplishSplashFun’s website was down and the company could not immediately be reached. MXN Commerce Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. No contact information could be found for Magic QQ, Allvre or Ming Tai Trade, all companies based in China, according to the commission.

On Temu, the popular Chinese shopping platform, Sunny House’s product page was down on Friday.

Beyond issuing consumer warnings, the commission can take legal action or begin a mandatory recall process, but that can take years.

In 2021, the agency imposed a mandatory recall from a toy set produced by Zen Magnets LLC after two children required surgery to remove ingested magnets that were lodged so deeply that parts of their intestines and intestines had to be removed.

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David B.Otero

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