UPDATE: The initial info I got clearly stated that this kind of magnet was being generally banned, but Nanodots, a brand name, and possibly some other brands are not being banned. “Buckyball” is the brand being banned. I wonder, can a company call themselves “buckyball” and trademark that name?
I actually suggested this as a holiday gift NOT FOR KIDS a while back, so I want to tell you the latest news.
Neodymium magnets are ver powerful magnets that use the rare earth neodynium element. They are very powerful. The toys consist of little round balls that stick to each other with quite a bit of force and they are fun to play with.
The problem is that kids swallow them. Then, the magnets line up in the digestive intestines and stick parts of the intestines together forming a block, or perforating the intestines. As an added note, they also resemble the little silver balls you use to decorate cakes and cupcakes (a questionable practice as those candies are very hard; I don’t recommend using them!). The retailers of these magnets seem to have provided all sorts of warnings but people tend to either ignore the warnings or forget about them, or the magnets may be left around unattended long before a young child is on the scene, then they get discovered.
For these reasons, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has ordered a stop to their sales.
Interestingly, the main company that imports these has taken a very politicized stance, stating that they “…. will vigorously fight this action taken by President Obama’s handpicked agency.”
As the owner of some nanomagnets of this type, with a toddler in the house, and a Democrat who supports our President, I find that obnoxious. I wonder if members of the Tea Party have stocked up on these dangerous little curios?
The name of that company is Maxfield and Oberton. On their web site they say:
You might have heard there’s a problem with our products…
THIS IS NOT TRUE.
A government agency (the Consumer Product Safety Commission) is saying they should be recalled because children occasionally get ahold of them. This is unfair. We market exclusively to adults. We are vigorously defending our right to market these products you love. Let us know how you feel about this: Comment on Facebook; send a tweet; tell your friends; complain loudly; or just buy a set to stick it to the CPSC. Read more here.
Well, I suppose they could always switch to making Jarts!
Personally, I think it is paternalistic to ban them. But, I support the ban. Paternalism has its safe; the protection of children from unwary parents and corporate greed. Unfortunately.