Press Release
For Immediate Release
May 1 , 2007
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

*****CONSUMER ALERT*****CONSUMER ALERT*****

MADIGAN: RECALL ON MAGNETIC BUILDING SETS EXPANDED

Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today is alerting consumers to a recall expansion announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in cooperation with Mega Brands America, Inc. (the new owner of Rose Art Industries, Inc.) dated April 19, 2007.   This expansion stems from additional reports of serious injuries following the March 31, 2006 recall of Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets. 

The recall involves all Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets sold before March 31, 2006.  Recalled sets have the brand name “Rose Art” on the package.  Newer sets sold after March 31, 2006, are not included in the recall and have the brand name “Mega” on the package.  These newer sets are age-labeled 6+ and contain the following caution label:  “CAUTION:  Do not ingest or inhale magnets.  Attraction of magnets in the body may cause serious injury and require immediate medical care.” 

The recall is based on the fact that the magnets can detach from the plastic building pieces.  If a child swallows more than one of the small but powerful magnets, or one magnet and a metallic object, the objects can attract inside the intestines and cause perforations and/or blockage, which can be fatal if not immediately treated.

Magnetix advises that the newer sets, sold after March 31, 2006 better retain magnets due to improved quality control, material and design changes and, thus, the newer sets are not included in the recall.

CPSC and Mega Brands are aware of one death, one aspiration and 27 intestinal injuries as a result of ingesting magnets from Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets.  In all but one of the cases, the children required emergency surgical intervention.  At least 1,500 incidents of magnets separating from the building pieces have been reported.  Although the hazard was initially thought to be a problem primarily for children younger than six, reports filed since then have revealed that at least ten injuries involved children between the ages of six and eleven years old.

These older sets, which were manufactured in China, contain up to 250 plastic building pieces and ½ -inch diameter steel balls.  The building pieces include 1 ½- inch squares, 1-inch triangles, cylinder rods, flexors, connectors, x-tenders, and curves and come in an assortment of colors such as metallic, primary, translucent, and glow in the dark.

Mass merchants and other toy and arts and crafts stores sold the sets nationwide for between $20 and $60, depending on the size of the set. 

Based on this recall, Madigan urges parents to stop using these magnetic sets immediately and contact Mega Brands to return them and receive a comparable product replacement. 

“We are working to spread the details of this recall to parents so that they can act quickly to protect children from the possibility of serious injury,” Madigan said. 

Madigan’s office will be sending out investigators pursuant to the Illinois Children’s Product Safety Act to spot check to see that retailers have posted the recall notice in a prominent location in stores and have removed the products from shelves. 

In 2005, the Illinois General Assembly passed new amendments to the Illinois Children’s Product Safety Act to help consumers by requiring manufacturers and retail merchants to post recall notices both in their stores and on their Web sites.  The recall notification process was further strengthened by requiring manufacturers and retail merchants to alert, by e-mail or mail, Illinois consumers who purchased recalled children’s products online.  Illinois was the first state to enact such comprehensive child safety notification measures.

Consumers can sign up to receive e-mail notification of recalls as they are issued at www.cpsc.gov.  Consumers can select to receive notification on several topics, including:  infant or child product recalls, sports or recreation product recalls, outdoor product recalls, and household product recalls.  Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued recalls for 466 products.  E-mail notification provides a helpful alternative for consumers to make sure they learn of any recalled products that they may have in their home. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s Web site also provides a direct link to www.recalls.gov, where citizens can find up-to-date recall information about past and current recalls.

Electronic images of the recalled products are attached.

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Following are photographs of the recalled products:

Picture of Magnets and Pieces from Recalled Magnetic Building Set

Picture of Magnets and Pieces from Recalled Magnetic Building Set


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