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The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is waging a full-scale attack against the makers of adult magnet toys. This week, the CPSC filed an administrative complaint against Zen Magnets. This follows on the heels of their Buckyballs complaint last month.
The CPSC wants the producers of these toys to remove the product from store shelves -- even if it means putting the companies out of business.
Their rationale is that while these toys are marketed to adults, many teens and young children have been getting a hold of them and playing with them. The agency says that the magnets pose a risk of being swallowed, which can cause serious health risks including death, reports The Associated Press.
While there have been no specific injuries related directly to Zen Magnets, the CPSC has cited other incidents where the similar Buckyballs magnets have been swallowed by young people, requiring emergency surgery.
These magnets can be used to mimic tongue and lip piercings, which has led to children putting the powerful small magnets in their mouths, reports the AP.
However, the makers of Zen Magnets, like the makers of Buckyballs, are not taking the complaint lying down. Both companies have stated that they will fight the complaint and have pointed out that their products are specifically marketed towards adults and carry required warning labels.
As the Zen Magnets and Buckyballs complaints reach an administrative law judge, it will be interesting to see how the judge balances the risk of harm in the products against the fact that the products are not dangerous if used properly.
Until the administrative judge makes a ruling, you may want to contact a product liability attorney if you or someone you know has been injured by such a product.