Banned small high powered magnets recalled following ACCC surveillance

Published: 
14 May 2020

The ACCC is concerned about reports of injuries, especially among children, relating to small high powered magnets. The ACCC recently conducted a surveillance program to inspect the presence of banned small high powered magnets which may be present in toys, games or novelty goods such as puzzle cubes, jewellery or construction modelling kits.

The following products were found to exceed the maximum allowable magnetic flux index set by the ban and have been recalled:

If a child swallows more than one small high powered magnet, the magnets can stick together across the walls of the child's intestine or other digestive tissue, which can lead to internal injuries and even death. These internal injuries have been likened in severity to a gunshot wound. The magnets may also pose a choking hazard to young children.

There is a permanent ban on the supply to Australian consumers of certain small high powered magnets. This applies to both Australian and overseas based suppliers. For more information on the ban, see: Small high powered magnets.

Tips for consumers

Exercise extreme caution when buying magnetic balls commonly supplied as a toy, game or puzzle, that are:

  • approximately 5 mm in diameter
  • sold in cubes with 216 or 512 pieces
  • silver or brightly coloured
  • known or marketed as:
    • rare earth magnets
    • neodymium magnets
    • Neo magnets
    • NIB magnets
    • NdFeB magnets.

If in doubt, always ask the seller to verify that the product supplied is not subject to the permanent ban.

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