After years of debate, the ban on tiny, high-powered magnets has been lifted. A December 2016 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed the original import ban on the magnet sets, used as adult stress relievers, and they are now back on the market, according to Fox News.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) cited safety concerns when it asked about a dozen manufacturers of the magnet sets to remove the products from the market in 2012. The CPSC received reports of nearly 3,000 children ending up in the emergency room from 2009 to 2013 after swallowing the magnets. These cases often required surgery to remove the magnets after they linked together internally and caused tissue damage, Righting Injustice previously reported.
Eleven companies complied, but two, Colorado-based Zen Magnets and New York-based Maxfield and Oberton, refused to comply, prompting a ban in 2014. The ban was intended to protect children and teenagers from the dangers that occur if the magnets are swallowed.
Zen Magnets, owned by Craig Zucker, filed for a review of the import ban on the magnets after the CPSC’s recall/stop-sale on them was overturned in March 2016 when “a judge found our magnets to ‘create no exposure to danger whatsoever’ when used properly,” according to a statement on Zen Magnets’ website. Zucker dissolved Maxfield and Oberton, which he originally owned and used to sell Buckyballs magnets.
“A week ago there was no acceptable warning, no acceptable age, no sales restriction nor waiver that allowed production of magnets like Zen Magnets, Buckyballs, Neoballs, Magnicube or Neocubes,” Zen Magnets wrote in a post on its website. “Today we are excited to once again take orders of Zen Magnets for immediate production.”
The CPSC continues to warn of the risks of children getting a hold of and ingesting or inhaling the high-powered magnets. “These high-powered magnets are not the magnets off your grandfather’s refrigerator door,” it states. “They are up to eight times stronger than magnets that are used in toys.”