So, in case you haven’t heard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has sued to take the popular Buckyballs magnets off the market, citing a number of incidents where small children swallowed the BB-sized pellets with the strong magnetism. Choking hazard, right? Well, not exactly.
When two or more of the magnets are swallowed, they can attach to each other, ripping holes in the stomach and intestines or causing other serious injuries, blood poisoning and death. The agency said it knows of more than two dozen magnet ingestion cases since 2009. At least a dozen of them involved Buckyballs, and some required surgery, including a 4-year-old boy who ingested three Buckyballs that he thought were chocolate candy, the agency said.
Uh, whoa. So, as you might guess, the CPSC acted somewhat quickly. But that doesn’t mean that their maker, Maxfield & Oberton, is happy. “Thank you for trying to drive a $50 million New York-based consumer product company out of business,” they wrote in a statement regarding the toys, which they say are intended for adults. But when the magnets were launched in 2009, they were targeted at children 13 and older — until they found out this wasn’t actually legal. (photo by Kurt and Becky)