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CPSC Approves Safety Standard for High-Powered Magnet Sets

September 26, 2014

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a new national safety standard for high-powered magnet sets to protect the safety of consumers, especially young children, tweens, and teenagers, addressing the preventable risk of injury or death associated with high-powered magnet sets.

The magnet sets are considered hazardous for young children, who have mouthed and ingested these magnets. Teens and tweens, who have used the magnets to create mock lip, tongue, and nose piercings, have also been at serious risk.

According to a CPSC analysis, high-powered magnet sets caused an estimated 2,900 emergency room-treated injuries between 2009 and 2013. If multiple magnets are ingested, pinching or trapping of the intestines or other digestive tissues can occur due to magnets attracting to each other, which can result in a serious injury, lifelong health consequences, or death.

Why It Matters
Under the new CPSC performance standard, an individual magnet from a magnet set either must be large enough that the magnet does not fit into a CPSC small parts cylinder or the power of the magnetic force must be lower than a specified measure. Certain harmful magnet sets that were previously in the marketplace contained a magnetic force that was 37 times greater than what the new performance standard permits.

Magnets manufactured or imported on or after the effective date of the new standard, which is 180 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register, must meet the new performance standard.  Once the safety standard becomes effective, the manufacture, importation, distribution or sale of high-powered magnet sets that are subject to the federal standard and do not comply will be illegal.

How UL Can Help
UL is registered with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as an accredited laboratory for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) third-party testing requirements and can provide consultation to help ensure your toy and juvenile products are in compliance with the CPSC’s new safety standard.

For more information on this new safety standard, please contact [email protected] and a UL representative will follow up shortly.