US Government Wants To Ban Zen Magnets

First they came for our Buckyballs. Now, Zen Magnets are in Uncle Sam's crosshairs, with a lawsuit from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to boot them off store shelves. The War on Toy Magnets has begun.

Citing "ongoing harm to children from ingested magnets", the USCPSC just voted to sue Zen Magnets. And, if what it says is true, these things can cause some pretty gruesome physical damage!

When two or more magnets are swallowed, they can pinch or trap the intestinal walls or other digestive tissue between them resulting in acute and long-term health consequences. Magnets that attract through the intestines result in progressive tissue injury. Such conditions can lead to infection, sepsis and possibly death. Medical professionals may not be aware of the dangers posed by ingestion and the corresponding need for immediate medical intervention in such cases, exacerbating the life-threatening internal injuries.

That sounds awful. But perhaps more profoundly the lawsuit restates the obvious truth that the US is inhabited by a lot of really stupid people:

The complaint alleges that the Commission has received reports of tweens and teenagers using similar products to mimic piercings of the tongue, lip or cheek which have resulted in incidents where the product is unintentionally inhaled and swallowed.

You stupid tweens and teens!

Zen Magnets released a statement denying that their balls have ever hurt anyone, and listed letters from magnetic ball fans pleading with the government to keep said balls free. Instead, let's blame other deathtrap toys:

Meanwhile, there will be about 100,000 injuries every year in the United States due to backyard trampolines which require Emergency Room treatment, and trampolines are marketed to children. The United States has over 5,000 childhood gun related deaths in a year. 30 American children will die from drowning in Buckets every year. And there have been more skateboard fatalities in 1 year than magnet sphere related injuries in 3.

Stupid tweens, stupid trampoline magnet tweens. [CPSC]

Photo: misterphisch



    It takes a certain level of intelligence to know you're stupid.

    Injuries caused by all those other "toys" are pretty obvious external trauma, but as is said about the balls: the danger is just as real but moreso because it's insidious and not readily apparent. i.e. it's a lot less likely the person will be treated in the way they need to be when they present at hospital. It'll probably be assumed that the swallowed objects will take their course through the digestive system normally, or only give them laxities or something, which will just give the magnets time to cause severe internal damage.

    Anyway, they shouldn't be marketed to kids (unless made into safer forms). They shouldn't be banned either of course... But it seems like Zen Magnets.realises thy have real issues here, but only are about maintaining their income stream. They could give two shits for any dangers. Typical corporate behaviour..

      Ahh... what the? Is your tongue in your cheek?? I'd hope so...
      You can't blame an object for what people do. I liken it to rope. Some people hang themselves with it, but does that mean we can't use it to tether our boats?

      They are not marketed to children. They are marketed as adult novelty toys (not that kind of toy you dirty minds). They are intended for adults to use for "sculpting" or as a desk trinket (ala Newton's cradle).

      It's still the parents' responsibility and not the companies fault. If a person gets shot, do they sue to gun maker? No, they prosecute the SHOOTER. If this happens to a kid, they should prosecute the parents instead.

    Next up from Zen Magnets, fireworks shaped like Tic-Tacs!

    i totally agree, this is such a dangerous toy.

    i totally dont support gun control either, cause guns dont kill

    I can wait to hear the protesters yell for the government to keep there hands of teenage's balls.

    yeah....let's ban these that the americans can go play with guns instead....

    talking about priorities......

    The day where you will need a permit to do a shit is rapidly approaching!

    As a famous man once said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"

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    Solution: Actually read the "Not safe for children under 8" or whatever, and don't let your 2 year old play with magnetic balls.

    Why don't people just teach kids not to put things in their mouths? I'm genuinely astounded.

      Ban parents that are not capable of raising kids.

      Parents teaching their kids?
      That's what schools are for.

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    The balls should be given to every parent on the planet. That way we'll weed out the unintelligent dribble.

    A country where 34 people are murdered daily by guns and they want to ban magnetic balls.

    I do adore the U.S.

      I hate how we've become the laughing stock of the planet...sadly,I am an American...

        then do something about it. Stop supporting IDIOTS in your leadership ranks.

    there is a warning that comes with them saying this. why is this any different to any other product that is sold with warnings? there are plenty of 'choking hazard' toys on the market

    Yes, ban these infernal magnetic balls! While we're at it, let's rally to get staplers, drawing pins, and paperclips banned to protect our children! Let the government take care of our kids, as parents they're not our responsibility!

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