Federal consumer safety regulators have ordered another maker of desktop novelties that contain large amounts of small but high-powered magnets to stop selling their products and offer consumers a refund.
According to a report on PR Newswire from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the agency has filed an “administrative complaint” against Star Networks USA LLC. This complaint – passed by the CPSC via a 2-1 vote – seeks to have this company stop selling its Star Networks Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes. These devices contain between 125 to 1,027 high-powered rare earth magnets.
The complaint against Star Networks not only demands the company stop selling these magnet toys but also admit to the public that they are dangerous and pose serious injury risks, especially to small children, and it also seeks for the company to offer refunds to consumers who purchased either the Star Networks Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes. The agency believes as many as 22,000 of these objects have been sold to date.
Earlier this year, Star Networks agreed to voluntarily stop selling these products as requested by the CPSC. The agency asked Star Networks and other manufacturers of devices that use many small and powerful rare earth magnets to voluntarily stop marketing their products because it believed they were posing serious injury risks to younger children.
CPSC says it has dozens of incident reports on file in which a product like Star Networks Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes were the cause of serious injuries and the need for immediate medical attention. Most often it is small children who are prone to swallowing these small magnets if they happen to break free of their forms. If just two magnets are swallowed, they can fuse together, possibly on either side of a vital organ that can lead to serious bleeding, perforation, and the need for emergency surgery to remove them.
Star Networks is now fighting the administrative complaint against it and refusing to comply with the agency’s order. The company joins other top manufacturers of these and similar products in refusing to comply with this order, Zen Magnets and Maxfield & Oberton, makers of the popular Buckyballs toys.
At least 11 companies have been identified by the CPSC and manufacturers of these devices. The magnets for them are imported from China. Makers of the devices say they properly warn the public that they’re intended primarily for people over the age of 14 and to the dangers posed by swallowing these small magnets or even putting them near a person’s mouth.