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Warning Out on Toy Magnets’ Choking Hazard

Toy magnets

Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition has reminded parents to be on the lookout for small toy magnets sold outside schools, which may pose a choking hazard to their children.

As part of its continuing campaign to promote children’s access to safe toys during the “ber” months, the group drew attention to cheap magnets that are offered for sale to school children from P5 to P10 per pair by toy retailers located near schools.

Toy retailers often obtain these toy magnets from wholesalers in Binondo, Manila and other trading hubs. These toys are peddled without the required market authorization in violation of RA 9711, or the Food and Drug Administration Act.

Moreover, these toys are sold without any labeling information in violation of RA 10620, or the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act. For example, these toys provide no choking hazard warning despite their small size.

Choking hazard warning for toy magnets is very important, the EcoWaste Coalition said, as this will forewarn consumers that children, especially those under three years old, could choke if a small magnet is swallowed.

The ingestion of small magnets is very dangerous, the group emphasized, as magnets can pull together inside the body and may become lodged in the digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach and the intestines.

Toy magnets

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “the ingested magnets can attract each other, or to another metal object, and become lodged in the digestive system.”

“This can result in perforations, twisting and/or blockage of the intestines, infection, blood poisoning, and death,” warned the CPSC. “When a magnet has to be removed surgically, it also can require repairing the child’s damaged stomach and intestines,” it added.

To protect kids from non-compliant toy magnets, the CPSC has issued several notices of violation to companies selling magnetic balls and cubes intended for children.

The EcoWaste Coalition is urging the country’s toy regulators to look into the sale of unauthorized and unlabeled toy magnets in the market.

Last August 2022, the group wrote to the FDA to request for the issuance of a public health warning on educational magnets with lead-containing surface coatings after finding lead above the 90 parts per million (ppm) limit on the paint of five magnets bought from school supply stores.



EcoWaste Coalition
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