The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shared several warnings this week over small yet high-powered magnetic balls in toy sets that can be swallowed after seven deaths and thousands of hospital visits were reported.
The CPSC estimated that 2,400 magnet ingestions were treated in hospital emergency departments between 2017 and 2021, and said it was aware of seven deaths – including two outside the United States.
The CPSC said testing determined that the magnetic ball sets are stronger than permitted, and are small enough to fit within the CPSC’s small parts test cylinder – which is roughly the size of a small child’s throat.
A recall was issued Thursday for one of the products, XpressGoods’ "Colorful Metal Neodymium Magic Magnetic Balls - 8 color, 5mm," impacting about 728 units.
The consumer safety agency said anyone with the product should immediately stop using magnetic balls, which are about 0.2 inches. Consumers should contact XpressGoods to receive a prepaid label to return the recalled products for a full refund or store credit.
But multiple other warnings were posted this week by the CPSC about similar magnetic ball products of concern, including at least four sold exclusively on Temu.com. They include Magic QQ’s 216-Piece Mixed Color Magnetic Ball Sets, Allvre’s 216-Piece 5mm Magnetic Ball Sets, Sunny House’s 125-Piece 5mm Mixed Color Magnetic Ball Sets, and Ming Tai Trade’s 216-Piece 5mm Magnetic Ball Sets – all of which originated from China.
Another warning about Carrara Magnetic Ball Sets, sold online at myKmarket.com, was manufactured by MXN Commerce Inc., of South Korea, the CPSC said.
The CPSC said it issued a "Notice of Violation" to the sellers, but most of the companies did not agree to recall their magnetic ball sets or offer a remedy to consumers.
Most of the products are colorful and were sold online in a clear, plastic case and tin storage box.
For its part, Temu said it was not aware of the merchants' responses to the CPSC and was "shocked to learn about them." It added that it decided to ban the merchants from its platform permanently.
"We treat this issue with the utmost seriousness and priority," a Temu spokesperson told FOX Television Stations in a statement. "Immediately upon receiving the notification from CPSC, we removed the products from our platform and notified the merchants to address the matter in accordance with CPSC's requirements. Additionally, we followed the CPSC's directive and provided them with the merchants' information."
"For the recall that the merchants were unwilling to conduct, our platform will cover the costs," Temu added. "We will shortly issue a recall notice and have started refunding affected consumers. In matters affecting consumer safety, our platform will take full responsibility."
This story was reported from Cincinnati.