Lifestyle

Ban targets sale of small magnets

THE Federal Government is seeking to ban the sale of small magnets over fears they can kill or seriously injure children when swallowed.

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury on Wednesday took the first step to ban the magnets, which are marketed as novelty items for adults to create patterns and build shapes.

Mr Bradbury said at least one death and numerous injuries had been reported in Australia from ingesting the magnets.

"If any person ingests more than one of these high powered magnets, the magnets can be attracted to each other across the walls of the intestine or other digestive tissue creating the risk of perforation and other serious health conditions ... and in some cases death," Mr Bradbury wrote in outlining the reasons for the proposed ban.

Mr Bradbury said choking and blood poisoning were the other potential consequences of swallowing the magnets, which are about 5mm in size.

The products, marketed under various names including BuckyBalls, Neocubes and Neodymium sphere magnets, contain numerous small, high-powered magnets.

In July the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States announced it was seeking to ban the magnets.

In response Bucky Balls launched a "Save our balls" campaign.

The company has sold 2.5 million sets of magnets in the past three years. A video on its website says the company deliberately avoids marketing the product to children, and includes up to five warnings on the packing of the magnets.

"Help us save our balls (and) your rights," the video says.

Suppliers of the products are invited to contact the ACCC regarding the proposed ban within the next 15 days.

Topics:  accc, federal government


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Never weary of Bingham’s music and his crazy heart

George Ryan Bingham is an Americana singer-songwriter currently based in Los Angeles, California.

RYAN Bingham became a global sensation in 2010

Councils back campaign against ‘obscene’ Wicked slogans

Byron Shire Council has joined the fight against Wicked camper van slogans.

BALLINA, Byron councils will write to NSW and Queensland premiers

Shakespeare at Byron just As You Like It

Rosalie Craig in As You Like It, produced by the UK's National Theatre Live.

SHAKESPEARE’S glorious comedy of love and change comes to Byron

Latest deals and offers

Moonshine Ochre a shade of Blues

GOLD Coast band Mescalito Blues are a regular fixture on the Northern Rivers music landscape.

Never weary of Bingham’s music and his crazy heart

George Ryan Bingham is an Americana singer-songwriter currently based in Los Angeles, California.

RYAN Bingham became a global sensation in 2010

Councils back campaign against ‘obscene’ Wicked slogans

Byron Shire Council has joined the fight against Wicked camper van slogans.

BALLINA, Byron councils will write to NSW and Queensland premiers

Shakespeare at Byron just As You Like It

Rosalie Craig in As You Like It, produced by the UK's National Theatre Live.

SHAKESPEARE’S glorious comedy of love and change comes to Byron

Ramones drummer to hit the beats in Byron Bay today

Richie Ramone is an American drummer best known for being the drummer for the iconic punk band the Ramones, from February 1983 until August 1987.

HE WAS born Richard Reinhardt in 1957

Time to dust off those billy carts and head to Bangalow

RED ROCKET: Ollie McDonald, of Tintenbar, gets a flying start in his red and white billy cart at a past Bangalow Billy Cart Derby.

It's time to prepare for this year's Bangalow Billy Cart Derby

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Broncos prepare for Sharks

Defensive training session at the Broncos

Tough defensive session in preparation for Sharks game.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances