October 21, 2014
Following the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approval of a new national safety standard for high-powered magnet sets, the U.S. government has amended 16 CFR 1240, which applies to all magnet sets/magnets and not just for children’s products.
Based on a review of National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data, the CPSC determined that an estimated 2,900 ingestions of magnets from magnet sets were treated in emergency departments during the period from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2013, an average of about 580 ingestion incidents per year.
16 CFR 1240 prescribes requirements for both magnet sets and individual magnets that are marketed or intended for use with or as magnet sets. Each magnet in a magnet set, and any individual magnet, that fits completely within the small parts cylinder must have a flux index of 50 kG2mm2 or less when tested per ASTM F963-11 (the toy standard that also contains similar magnet requirements for toys).
These requirements are intended to reduce or eliminate an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers who ingest magnets that are part of magnet sets. All magnet sets and individual magnets marketed or intended for use as part of a magnet set that are manufactured or imported on or after April 1, 2015, are required to meet the new performance standard.