WASHINGTON (July 25, 2012)—The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has filed an administrative complaint against New York-based Maxfield & Oberton, the manufacturer of Buckyballs, the small but very powerful magnets that are strong enough to mold and shape into different forms and structures and serve as desktop toys for adults.
The CPSC says the company refused to recall the product.
In another front against the company, the agency said it was able to convince about 10 retailers, including Amazon.com and Brookstone, to stop selling Buckyballs.
Since 2009, CPSC says at least a dozen children, from toddlers to teens, have swallowed the magnets and some required surgery.
The American Academy of Pediatrics applauded the move Wednesday.
“The powerful, tiny magnets contained in these toys and other similar products have caused unnecessary surgeries, debilitating injuries, irreversible gastrointestinal damage and other lifelong health impacts in infants, children and adolescents,” said AAP President Dr. Robert W. Block.
“Pediatricians have been ringing an alarm bell about these dangerous products since we first recognized the damage they cause in children and adolescents who accidentally swallow them,” Block said.
“Once separated, these tiny high-powered magnets will attempt to find each other, even when a stomach wall or intestinal tract stands between them.”