In July 2012, Battat Incorporated, maker of magnetic building sets, entered into a settlement agreement under the Consumer Product Safety Commission Act and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $400,000 for failing to report the defect and hazards associated with the magnetic building sets, as required by federal law.
The Magnabild Magnetic Building Set is for kids ages 3 and up and contains small magnetic building pieces which can be swallowed by young children. If 2 or more magnets are swallowed, the magnets can attract to each other and connect, causing intestinal perforations or blockages, which can be fatal.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) alleged that Battat knew about the hazards the magnetic pieces posed to children since 2005 when it received its first report of magnets coming loose but did not report it until October 2007.
Battat is not the only manufacturer of magnetic toys in hot water with the CPSC. Maxfield & Oberton Holdings LLC, based in New York, is refusing to recall Buckyballs and Buckycube desk toys, which are desk toys consisting of powerful small round magnetic balls that form different shapes and structures.
Over the last 6 years, the CPSC has issued many recalls for toys that contain small magnets. The CSPC even issued a "Magnet Safety Alert," warning parents of the risks of injury and death to children from magnet ingestion.
If you have any magnetic toys for children or desk toys for adults, it is imperative that you keep them in a safe and secure place, away from young children.