Background

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has preliminarily determined that there is an unreasonable risk of injury and death, particularly to children and teens, associated with the ingestion of one or more high-powered magnets. To address this risk, the CPSC is proposing a mandatory safety standard that would apply to consumer products that (1) are designed, marketed, or intended to be used for entertainment, jewelry (including children’s jewelry), mental stimulation, stress relief, or a combination of these purposes and (2) contain one or more loose or separable magnets. Toys already subject to the CPSC’s mandatory toy standard would be exempt from this rule.

The CPSC states that magnets in subject magnet products typically are small, powerful magnetic balls, cubes, cylinders, or other shapes that can be used to create jewelry (such as necklaces, bracelets, and simulated piercings) and can be aggregated to make sculptures, for use as desk toys, and as other building sets. They commonly include magnets between three and six millimeters in size and consist of several hundred magnets. The magnets themselves have a variety of compositions, such as alloys of neodymium, iron, and boron; ferrite/hematite; aluminum, nickel, and cobalt; and samarium and cobalt.

Under the proposed standard, loose or separable magnets in subject goods would have to be either too large to swallow or weak enough to reduce the risk of internal interaction injuries when swallowed.

Comments on all aspects of this notice, including the risk of injury, the proposed scope and requirements, alternatives, and likely economic impacts, are due no later than March 28.

For more information on compliance with product safety standards, please contact Beth Ring at (212) 549-0133 or Ned Steiner at (202) 730-4970.

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