Health Canada recalling novelty sets containing small, powerful magnets
An x-ray shows a line of magnets inside a child’s intestine. At least 12 kids in the U.S. have torn their intestines after swallowing the powerful rare earth magnets.
Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:01PM EDT
TORONTO -- Health Canada has issued a recall for a number of adult novelty products containing small, powerful magnets that can be swallowed or inhaled by children.
BuckyBalls novelty sets contain a number of rare earth element magnets many times more powerful than traditional magnets.
Some children have needed emergency surgery to remove swallowed magnets that can attract one another while moving through the intestines.
The magnets can trap intestinal tissue between them and cause life-threatening blockages or tearing.
Distributors of BuckyBalls are voluntarily recalling the products after a Health Canada risk assessment found they pose a danger to human health and safety.
The federal department says consumers should stop using the magnet sets and contact their municipality for instructions on safe disposal or recycling.
"Canadians expect that products they find on store shelves will be safe," Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a statement Wednesday. "It's clear that some products containing small, powerful magnets pose a danger to children so we are taking action to have them removed from the marketplace."
The adult entertainment products typically involve puzzle working, sculpture building, mental stimulation or stress relief.