Our organizations support a mandatory safety standard for high-powered magnet sets; however, we strongly reject the parameters suggested by the petitioner and instead urge the CPSC to work with patient safety, consumer, and physician organizations to re-issue and consider strengthening the previously promulgated requirements for small, high-powered magnet sets.
The petitioner asserts that high-powered magnet sets pose a risk of injury if “misused” in a way that results in ingesting, aspirating, or otherwise inserting more than one magnet into the body. However, injuries from high-powered magnet sets are not only a result of “misuse.” It is expected that magnets will become separated from their sets and foreseeable that a child or toddler will put that magnet(s) in their mouth. As pediatricians and child advocates, we know that this is a part of normal behavior development in children and is a major cause of foreign body ingestion.
The petitioner notes that one potential injury that can result from ingesting high-powered magnets is damage to gastrointestinal tissue. However, the petitioner has grossly understated the severity of injury—including death—that can result. Our organizations have repeatedly highlighted the types of injuries that result from the ingestion of two or more high-powered magnets, and the severity of injuries must not be minimized when establishing a safety standard.
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