Federal Authorities Tighten Safety Standards for Tiny, Powerful Magnets That Have Hurt Children

The goal of new federal safety regulations unveiled on Wednesday is to protect children and teenagers from serious or fatal injuries caused by accidentally swallowing strong magnets.

According to the new regulations, certain products with removable or loose magnets must only contain those that are weak or too big to swallow.

The goal is to lessen the risk of harm brought on by swallowed magnets attracting to one another inside the body. The hazards include gut perforations, twisting, blockage, infection, blood toxicity, and even death.

the flux index of magnets that fit into small component cylinders must be less than 50 kG2 mm2 in accordance with the current regulations. The flux index serves as a gauge for magnetic force.

The new guidelines were approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Wednesday.

They pertain to consumer goods that contain one or more loose or detachable magnets that are created, marketed, or intended for use as jewellery, entertainment, or stress reduction.

Products sold and/or supplied solely to educators, researchers, professionals, and/or business users exclusively for educational, research, professional, commercial, or industrial reasons are exempt from the requirement. Additionally, it doesn’t apply to toys for children under the age of 14 because the CPSC already has a requirement for those types of toys.

After being published in the Federal Register for 30 days, the modification becomes effective. It will have an impact on goods created after that time.

According to the CPSC, emergency rooms treated an estimated 26,600 incidents of magnet ingestion between 2010 and last year, with cases increasing annually since 2018. Two of the seven deaths that resulted from ingesting dangerous magnets happened outside of the United States. The CPSC claims that magnet sets were most likely involved.

When children consume magnets, such as those used to simulate mouth piercings, injuries may result.

The CPSC created a legally binding federal standard for magnet sets in 2014. Two years later, an appeals court overturned the rule, and the CPSC reports that magnet ingestions and injuries increased as a result.

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