Proposed Ban for Small, High-Powered Magnets

22 Aug 2012

A process to ban small, high-powered magnets that can cause serious injury or death if swallowed by children has been initiated, said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

The products, marketed under various names including 'BuckyBalls', 'Neocubes' and 'Neodymium sphere magnets', contain numerous small, high-powered magnets. They are marketed as novelty items for adults to create patterns and build shapes.

There have been reports of children swallowing the magnets, which can cause serious injury or even death.

"Following the consumer safety warning I issued in July, I am now proposing to put in place a permanent ban on these products," said Mr Bradbury.

"If a child swallows more than one of these high-powered magnets they can attract to each other across the intestinal wall and perforate the intestine.

"Parents are reminded to always keep small objects that could pose a choking hazard away from children and to seek medical attention immediately if they suspect their child has swallowed small, high-powered magnets."

Suppliers of the products are invited to contact the ACCC to request a conference on the proposed ban within the next 15 days.

Contact details

More information on the proposed ban can be found in Consumer Protection Notice No. 4 of 2012.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Product category