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& Wilson, LLC
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Federal government says Buckyballs are too dangerous to be sold

For only the second time in history, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is demanding that a product be removed from stores altogether. The popular Buckyball magnets, of which over 2 million have sold in recent years, have caused more than two dozen reported injuries since 2009 when they were first marketed in the United States. The Commission had previously asked the company to voluntarily recall the product because it said that these magnets are extremely dangerous to children who mistakenly ingest them. It is unknown if any children in Louisiana were injured by Buckyballs.

The company claims that they have sufficiently responded to safety concerns over the product. The Buckyballs were initially sold in this country as a set of magnets to people ages 13 and up. They now only market the Buckyball magnets to adults, due to a voluntary recall the manufacturer initiated in 2010 because federal rules prohibit the selling of loose magnets to children under age 14. The company has set up a website to teach people how to use the Buckyballs safely, noting they are a popular desk toy for office workers. The company has also put warning labels in five places on the product.

Yet the magnets are still extremely dangerous for children who unwittingly get their hands on the magnets. Once two or more are ingested, they may become attracted to each other in the stomach and can cause serious internal injuries or even death if they connect.

The company seems to be more concerned over its profit margin than consumer safety, blasting the Commission for trying to put them out of business. This case will be closely monitored in the hope that this extremely dangerous product will be removed from the market, and consumers can trust that federal regulators are working to keep their children safe.

Source: The Washington Post, "Buckyballs magnets targeted by federal suit, citing dangers for children," Dina ElBoghdady, July 25, 2012

To learn more about how a design defect can injure a consumer, please check out our website.

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