Super strong magnets back on market in U.S., could ban be overturned in Canada?
Release time:2017-02-14 14:50 Author:Nature
Keywords: strong magnets
A ban on super strong magnet sets, which took effect after thousands of children were hospitalized,
has been overturned in the U.S. There is now a concern that the toys could end up back on shelves in Canada.
The company, Zen Magnets, had been banned from selling its toys in the U.S. and Canada for the past
three years after concerns for the health and safety of children ingesting the toys were raised.
The powerful magnets, if swallowed, can cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries.
Braylon Jordan is one of the many children who continue to suffer medical problems after swallowing the
magnets. At the age of two, Jordan swallowed eight magnets. The force of the magnets perforated his
intestine, resulting in most of it being removed. Now, as a first-grader, he still has to be fed intravenously.
Since the ban went into effect the number of incidents like Jordan’s have dropped dramatically, according to one
of Jordan’s doctors.
“We see the injuries very [rarely] right now. Maybe one or two cases a year,” Dr. Adam Noel told CTV Toronto.
But Zen Magnets fought the ban and in March 2016 won their case in the U.S. In Nov. 2016 the ban was
overturned after the United States Court of Appeals ruled there was insufficient evidence to link magnets to
injuries and with proper warnings the magnets don’t pose any danger to consumer. The magnets can once again
be legally sold in American stores.
Zen Magnets’ website and packaging both have warnings of fatal intestinal pinching but the founder of Zen Magnets
maintains that the magnets are “perfectly safe when properly used”.
Consumer Reports spokeswoman Ellen Kunes told CTV Toronto that people should still cautious. “We recommend that
you avoid having these magnet sets if there are any children in the home,” she said.
Health Canada told CTV Toronto they are monitoring the situation in case Canada sees an influx of the product
being brought over from the U.S. But according to a statement they issued, the magnets are still prohibited from
being sold in Canada. Any retailers who sell the dangerous magnets illegally could face fines.
It is unclear if the magnet company will attempt to have the ban in Canada overturned.