- United States Court of Appeals rule in favor of lifting ban on magnet sets
- Consumer and child safety groups claim magnets cause serious medical problems and death
- Magnet manufacturers ready to resume shipment within weeks
The U.S. Appeals Court has ruled in favor of lifting a ban on high-powered toy magnets for kids. The decision was hailed by one manufacturer as a “victory for small businesses” but was considered a setback by consumer and child safety groups.
According to USA Today, the ban started in 2014 after the Consumer Product Safety Commission passed a law that prevents the sale of the magnets. Child safety was the primary reason for the ban.
Toy Magnets Caused Intestinal Problems For Children
The toy magnets often come in sets of over 200 and are composed of tiny high-powered magnet balls or cubes. When swallowed, the magnets attach to each other finding their way across the digestive system and forming possible life-threatening blockages.
According to child safety groups, there have been too many cases of children swallowing these tiny but very powerful magnets. Laura MacCleery, Vice President of Policy and Mobilization for Consumer Reports, revealed that many of them suffered serious medical injuries, with some cases even resulting in death.
Dr. Benard P. Dreyer, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that the toys “have caused unnecessary surgeries, debilitating injuries, irreversible gastrointestinal damage and other lifelong health impacts on infants, children, and adolescents.”
Ban A Necessary Step Towards Protecting Children’s Lives
According to Dreyer, pediatricians have been ringing alarm bells after recognizing the dangers the magnets posed. He added that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s ban was a necessary step towards the right direction.
However, Zen Magnets challenged the emergency room statistics presented by the CPSC in court as reported by Consumer Affairs. The company argued that the commission’s evaluation of the costs the rule would impose on consumers was incomplete.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled in favor of Zen Magnets in a 2-1 ruling. With the lift on the CPSC’s ban, Shihan Qu said that Zen Magnets LLC said the company would begin accepting orders for the toy magnets within a few weeks.