Consumer Watchdog

High-powered magnets sold on recalled for violating federal safety standards

Small toy magnets can't exceed a certain strength capability in case a child ingests them.

Courtesy of CPSC | Public Domain

About 4,240 sets of high-powered magnets have been recalled because they violate federal safety standards for toy magnets, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The magnet sets were sold on through Joybuy, the DBA of JD E Commerce America Limited, a subsidiary of Shanghai Yanlei Network Technology Co. Ltd., of China. They sold for $14 to $15 from February 2022 through April 2023.

The items were called Relax 5mm Science Kit. The multi-color, 5mm diameter magnets were sold in sets of 216. Effective Oct. 21, 2022, federal standards required individual magnets in certain magnet products to be either too big to swallow, or weak enough that they’re unlikely to connect inside the body. If magnets fail the CPSC’s small parts cylinder test (roughy the size of a cardboard toilet paper roll), they must have a flux index of less than 50 kG2 mm2. These magnets don’t meet those requirements.

This is the second brand of magnets recalled this month for violating those safety standards. Others have been recalled in years past.

The CPSC has gone after tiny, high-powered magnets for years before adopting the standards that took effect last year. If ingested, magnets can attract to each other inside the body and  cause serious issues such as intestinal blockage or blood poisoning. These magnets pose a huge risk because children — including teenagers — sometimes put them in their mouth to mimic a piercing or for some other reason.

Often used as fidget toys, these magnets caused 26,600 children to require emergency room treatment from 2010 through 2021, according to the CPSC. In addition, at least seven children have died after ingesting high-powered magnets.

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