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Small Magnetic Balls Sold at Walmart Recalled Over Swallowing Dangers

FRIDAY, Dec. 29, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Tiny, powerful magnetic balls sold exclusively online at Walmart as building blocks and stress relievers have been recalled for swallowing dangers, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) said Thursday.

In announcing the recall, the commission pointed to thousands of hospitalizations and at least seven deaths linked to similar products.

Swallowing magnets is dangerous because they can attract to one another and become lodged in the digestive tract, the commission said.

“This can result in perforations, twisting and/or blockage of the intestines, infection, blood poisoning and death,” the recall notice added.

The commission said it “estimates 2,400 magnet ingestions were treated in hospital emergency departments from 2017 through 2021.”

In addition, the commission knows of “seven deaths involving the ingestion of hazardous magnets, including two outside of the United States,” the commission said.

The commission also noted that the magnetic balls sold at Walmart "do not comply with the requirements of the mandatory federal magnet regulation because the sets contain one or more magnets that fit within CPSC’s small parts cylinder and the magnets are stronger than permitted.”

The Relax magnetic balls are sold as a set of 216 multicolor balls that measure 5 millimeters each. More than 4,200 sets are being recalled, the commission said.

They are manufactured in China and sold through a company called Joybuy, NBC News reported, but no one with Joybuy could be reached for comment on Thursday.

The balls were sold between February 2022 and April 2023, and each cost $14 to $15, according to the commission. Customers should contact Joybuy for a refund at at 302-426-4543, by email at [email protected] or online at https://www.walmart.com/seller/16214, the commission said.

More information

Visit the CPSC for more on the dangers of magnet products.

SOURCE: Consumer Product Safety Commission, news release, Dec. 28, 2023; NBC News

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