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Six Retailers Announce Recall of Buckyballs and Buckycubes

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the first-world-natural-selection dept.

Toys 343

thereitis writes "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with six retailers, is announcing the voluntary recall of all Buckyballs and Buckycubes high-powered magnet sets due to ingestion hazard. CPSC continues to warn that these products contain defects in the design, warnings and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury and death to children and teenagers. An administrative complaint has been filed which is rare, as CPSC has filed only four administrative complaints in the past 11 years." This follows last year's ban on buckyballs.

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343 comments

Seriously? (5, Insightful)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | about a year ago | (#43444675)

Why does this even need a warning? If you're too stupid not to understand to either A) not ingest these, or B) not give them to someone not old enough to know better, then by all means, swallow them all, then go get an MRI.

Re:Seriously? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444709)

You mean CAT scan?

An MRI is a really big superconducting magnet. If you swallowed some of those balls, had them get stuck in your intestines, then went for an MRI... I can't imagine that would be a very pleasant experience, having several balls forcibly pulled through your soft squishy organs.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444713)

Nice work AC, being pedant while missing the point.

Re:Seriously? (-1, Redundant)

bakaohki (1206252) | about a year ago | (#43445069)

Nope, my boy, you clearly haven't been to an MRI scan before. Just try to go into the chamber with your glasses on, and see the reaction of the operator.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445215)

Nope, my boy, you clearly haven't been to an MRI scan before. Just try to go into the chamber with your glasses on, and see the reaction of the operator.

Nope, my boy, you clearly haven't been exposed to sarcasm before. Just try and go on Slashdot without it, and see the reaction of the intertubes.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | about a year ago | (#43444715)

Not sure if oblivious poster with good intentions or a really, really good troll...

Anyways, I'm fairly certain that was exactly his point.

Re:Seriously? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444725)

"by all means, swallow them all, then go get an MRI"

No he meant MRI. He is mean :D

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444727)

No, he means MRI, and you nicely explained why.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

Fuzzums (250400) | about a year ago | (#43445153)

Really?! Now that wouldn't be very smart, would it?
Just like swallowing magnets in the first place.

I think he did mean MRI for exactly that reason :)

(My apologies for my sarcasm)

Re:Seriously? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43445301)

An MRI is a really big superconducting magnet.

Well, to be accurate, not all of them are. SQUID-bases MRI imagers can operate with vastly weaker fields, I believe that some of them at least are using the natural magnetic background. I'm not sure, though, what the magnetic field of these magnets would do with tissue imaging results. You'd probably get complete garbage out of it.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43444711)

If you swallowed them all, you'd be fine. The way I described it to my wife is, eat one. Wait between 1 hour and 6 hours and eat another. Don't see a doctor for abrominal pain, and there's a reasonable chance you'll die. Multiples at once will not cause an issue. One a day will not cause an issue.

My 5 year old gets to play with my set, but the 3 year old (who doesn't eat toys) has close supervision, especially since these look like dragee, candy he has had before.

The problem is that a proper warning is hard when everything is deadly already. I'm surprised bottled water doesn't come with a DHMO warning label. When everything has a warning on it, adding a real warning to something that looks safe doesn't have proper effect. People don't read warnings when everything comes with 100 warnings.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43444723)

People don't read warnings when everything comes with 100 warnings.

Very good point. Or they read them and laugh.

Re:Seriously? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444777)

Reminds me of a warning I saw on a treadmill recently. "Cease use immediately and consult a physician if you experience any of these symptoms: dizzyness, light headedness or shortness of breath."

On a treadmill? Really?!

Re:Seriously? (5, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43444933)

53% of slashdotters get shortness of breath looking at a treadmill.

Re:Seriously? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43445101)

53% of slashdotters get shortness of breath looking at a treadmill.

Other 46.0% will get dizzy - the remaining 1% are in army service [slashdot.org] or are girls-in-training (with or without bra).
None of them will get light-headed though: being predisposed to such symptoms runs counter to being a /.-er.

Re:Seriously? (0)

ankhele (1123305) | about a year ago | (#43444743)

Where are my mod points when I need 'em? *sigh*

Re: Seriously? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#43444785)

No, you would not be fine. Swallowing these magnets are bad because they have a tendency attract each other via adjacent track of intestine. They pinch together with such force that necrosis occurs. This is bad mmm k.

Re: Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444873)

Were you listening to the dude's story? Swallow them all at once, you'll be fine. Because they will all stick together before they have a chance to attract via adjacent tracts of the intestine. No problem. Swallow them several hours apart, and you have a problem.

Re: Seriously? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43444891)

Yeah, what the AC said.

If you swallow them close enough, they'll stick together without trapping tissue between them. 30 minutes is probably enough time, but may not be. An hour would almost certianly be enough time. But two separated by 5 minutes would likely not do anything.

Re: Seriously? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43445073)

Nice to hear from a gastroenterologist with a clue instead of some computer nerd that knows fuck all about digestion making shit up and giving dangerous advice. Oh wait - so you're not somebody with a clue? Once was merely a mistake, but some much repetition of such dangerous advice is straying into enemy action territory. Do you really hate the readers here that much?

Re: Seriously? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43445319)

Swallow them all at once, you'll be fine.

As long as you have sufficient mineral oil and a folded towel to bite down on.

Re: Seriously? (1)

uncqual (836337) | about a year ago | (#43444889)

Did you miss that if you eat them all at once, they will stick together in one clump and therefore none would be in an "adjacent track of intestine". Although, I would think that just having a, effectively solid, chunk of indigestible material the size of several buckyballs may be a problem in of itself.

Re: Seriously? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43445077)

That's assuming that the lump can make it around any bends without getting stuck - a really big and very stupid assumption. Next up, clearing bowel blockages with liquid mercury - obviously no problem so long as it never gets stuck anywhere (the answer in the back of the book is it did and people died from necrosis that way long before poisoning could kill them).

Re: Seriously? (2)

N Monkey (313423) | about a year ago | (#43445229)

Did you miss that if you eat them all at once, they will stick together in one clump and therefore none would be in an "adjacent track of intestine". Although, I would think that just having a, effectively solid, chunk of indigestible material the size of several buckyballs may be a problem in of itself.

Not if you test first [therevcounter.co.uk] like the monkey ;-)

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

oiron (697563) | about a year ago | (#43444799)

You're assuming that the reason for the warnings is to save lives...

It's actually purely to get themselves off the hook after lives are lost. Plausible deniability!

Re:Seriously? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43444921)

They are required by law, in most cases it's the law that's broken, whether requiring warnings, or making them optional, but required for liability issues.

Re:Seriously? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43445139)

You're assuming that the reason for the warnings is to save lives...

It's actually purely to get themselves off the hook after lives are lost. Plausible deniability!

- but do you think that it is wrong for a company to try and get themselves off the hook after "lives are lost", given the fact that if they don't put a label on there will be a lawsuit and they will eventually go bankrupt because of lawsuits?

What is the difference why they put a warning label onto their product?

Do you buy detergent? Do you need detergent or would you prefer to make your own soap to wash clothes? So if you drink that detergent (or your kid does), do you think the company should be sued?

Well, if there is no warning label on the packaging then the company can be sued, that's what government did, it created this insanity that companies will be sued if they don't put warning labels.

Companies got sued enough times to be overzealous in terms of labels, in USA there are labels on everything. In Europe there are much fewer labels. Is it that kids are dumber in USA? Not from the birth they are not.

Will the kids become dumber over time simply in comparison, because they are not learning to deal with things that kids elsewhere have to learn to deal with? I don't know, I didn't do a study on such things. At least in USA some kids learn to be around firearms and most don't shoot themselves or others.

I don't think there should be warnings about most things, if something is not a food and is an actual poison, as in: if you breath near it you will get poisoned, then there should be some warning I think, but warnings on magnets not to eat them? I think that's up to a company, not up to government to decide.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445253)

No, what happened is a lot of companies did stupid shit and got sued, and lost. During the trials, the companies of course were in full spin mode, trying to make themselves seem as innocent as possible. This results in a lot of other companies saying "OMG, we could be sued for bullshit too" and slapping all sorts of senseless warnings on their products.

The simple fact is that if you release a dangerous product, no amount of warnings are going to prevent you from being sued. Just because your coffee maker states "always turn off coffee maker to prevent fires" you're still going to be sued if the damn thing bursts into flames because a well-designed coffee maker should not burst into flames, even if left turned on indefinitely.

Warning labels, like most company to consumer communications, are purely about having something to point at to discourage lawsuits. Someone calls up a company and says "your coffee maker burnt down my house" and they reply "did you read the warning labels? It said to turn it off when unsupervised." Then, with any luck, the consumer decides they were partially at fault, and doesn't sue.

Re:Seriously? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43445305)

Says who that a coffee maker that never gets turned off should be able to never get turned off?

How about a stove, what if a stove is constantly on, eventually this can cause fire one way or another, something will fall on the stove if its on all the time and will burn the house down.

Should the stove manufacturer have a huge warning label saying: you fucking idiots, turn the stove off if not in use?

What's is a coffee maker? It's an electric appliance and over time parts of electric appliances can give out and cause a fire. Just like anything else gives out and causes some damage.

Coffee makers will turn off automatically if not used for some time of-course, a coffee maker is unlikely to cause fire.

Back to the magnets, why should a magnet manufacturer put extra labels on the product saying: don't eat the magnets?

Should a needle manufacturer put labels on needles saying: don't eat needles?

Should a bleach manufacturer put labels on that saying: don't drink it? I mean there are probably labels there, I don't know, I haven't read warning labels on household chemicals, but if I decide to have a cup of bleach, should I be able to sue the bleach company because I have a defective brain and can't figure out not to drink chlorine?

Should somebody be able to sue a rope manufacturer if they hang their kid by the neck until the kid dies and then they say they didn't know the kid would die without a label on the rope?

Hmmm.

Re:Seriously? (2)

rmstar (114746) | about a year ago | (#43445337)

The simple fact is that if you release a dangerous product, no amount of warnings are going to prevent you from being sued. Just because your coffee maker states "always turn off coffee maker to prevent fires" you're still going to be sued if the damn thing bursts into flames because a well-designed coffee maker should not burst into flames, even if left turned on indefinitely.

That is true. Regulation ensures that we only have well-designed coffee makers. At least on the safety front. Regulation ensures that companies do not compromise safety with cost of production. Personally, I think that this is a good idea.

Warning labels, like most company to consumer communications, are purely about having something to point at to discourage lawsuits.

That might be true to some extent, but to a very large extent the warnings are there to prevent accidents. And they do. And most companies do actually care for what happens to their customers. Well, companies that want to be arround for a while do. And it is not all cynicism.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445133)

Actually reminds me of what I told my wife looking at the warning on a baby bathtub seat. 'Mise en garde!'.

I said they out to just put that on the baby.

Re:Seriously? (0)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#43445349)

> I'm surprised bottled water doesn't come with a DHMO warning label.

And well it should. I fully support the labeling of products that contain dangerous and addictive additives like DHMO. Its disgusting that they get away without even labeling it! I see people giving that shit to kids all the time. Its just sad.

Re:Seriously? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43444817)

Why does this even need a warning? If you're too stupid not to understand to either A) not ingest these, or B) not give them to someone not old enough to know better, then by all means, swallow them all, then go get an MRI.

I find the overreaction(compared to less esoteric flavors of consumer-unsafety) rather strange; but the mechanism of harm is not wildly intuitive.

If you ingest one, the consequences are essentially nil. The coatings(generally either nickel or some epoxy or polymer) are reasonably inert and not particularly dangerous, and even the magnets themselves(while not considered biocompatible) are not a serious oral toxicity concern.

If you ingest two or more, with a time lag between ingestions, they can potentially snap together and trap intestinal tissue between them. No blood flow, the tissue dies, and you get necrosis, potential rupture, and other wacky fun.

That's exactly the sort of hazard scenario that isn't wildly obvious; but is also much more avoidable if you know about it. 1. Don't swallow them. 2. If you fail at 1, don't play with them for a few days, maybe a week just to be on the safe side. Easy.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444825)

It's an American recall. Says it all. "Warning these knifes are sharp" - that place ;-)

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444831)

It's not even about the MRI. Swallow one, wait half an hour, and swallow another. They will move adjacent to each other from 2 different intestines, and then you'll have 2 punctured intestines. I got these from my cousin and immediately brought them to work instead of keeping them at home because of the risk (have an 11 month old and a 2 year old).

Re:Seriously? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43445055)

The risk is swallowing two magnets and necrosis in the intestine between them - same as with toys with magnets decades ago. If a toy does not secure the magnets properly it gets recalled - same as with faulty toys with magnets decades ago. Maybe the problem here is toys from manufacturers that did not learn that lesson decades ago.

Re:Seriously? (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a year ago | (#43445161)

It's due to the fact that people in the USA are so freaking brave that they'll swallow them just to prove the terrorists haven't won. Or, alternatively, they're actually very scared of tiny spherical magnets.

It reminds me of http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/30/leigh-van-bryan-and-emily-bunting-banned-from-entering-us-after-twitter-joke-about-destroying-america_n_1241104.html/ [huffingtonpost.co.uk] where that whole country of gun-toting free-thinking individuals wouldn't have been safe from a couple of tourists from the UK.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#43445279)

CPSC has received 54 reports of children and teens ingesting this product, with 53 of these requiring medical interventions.

Sounds like Darwinism in action. Young children, I can understand, but teens?

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445399)

hmmm...eating them all then getting a MRI...sounds like a scene out of an upcoming halloween torture movie (e.g. saw 262,144 or whatever number they're up to)

Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444681)

But if it's guns, well, we can't even suggest that background checks should be implemented or the NRA will unleash a titanic fury of political money to get what they want.

Re:Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (4, Insightful)

Z34107 (925136) | about a year ago | (#43444705)

Relax. We're laughing that "think of the children" claimed your toys, too.

Re:Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444739)

Lawn Darts?

I don't miss them.

Re:Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (4, Funny)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43444937)

When I was younger we would take the lawn darts out back into the yard at night. We'd throw them straight up and then run around underneath them hoping that we'd not die. Amazingly, nobody died or was ever hurt from that game and I'm not sure how we managed to be that stupid and that lucky. Either way we were really stupid but we had a lot of fun. They need to bring Jarts back and they need to specifically prohibit me and my childhood friends from playing with them. Again, we were really lucky and really stupid. We all survived to adulthood - most of us are quite successful today.

yes your the retards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445037)

you boldy do what bno sane kids ever do and thus we need ot protect you even as an adult cause well your mentally challenged

Re:yes your the retards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445177)

Well done, that almost looks like English. You really are making a lot of progress.

Re:Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (1)

schn (1795404) | about a year ago | (#43445397)

If you run around without looking up, it isn't that dangerous. The worst you could get is a cut on your head.

Re:Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (1)

jewens (993139) | about a year ago | (#43444941)

Meanwhile...
In Soviet Russia:
Lawn darts don't miss you.

Re:Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444951)

If you wanna get your ban on, invent a gun that shoots Buckybullets and ban that.

BB guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445051)

bingo

and ill add i know of a case where a young lad was shot in face in a claifornia school not long ago...all he wanted to do was stop his sister from being harrassed by that kid.

Re:BB guns (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#43445265)

all he wanted to do was stop his sister from being harassed by that kid.

That escalated quickly. Well, it worked, but many times I wonder if these kids are so stupid to not realize what they're doing, or fully understand that they will be ending someone's life. Either way, they should be removed from society forever because something if fundamentally wrong with them.

Re:Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#43445321)

We don't have anything in our Constitution about Buckyballs (although I am pretty sure if it had ever occurred to the Founding Fathers that the Federal Government would do this, they would have put something in there about it...however, I am also pretty sure that they would have thought that the 10th Amendment covered this).

Re:Yay, we can stop this pernicious danger! (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#43445381)

9th amendment covers it pretty solidly if you ask me. They didn't mention them, therefore the government wasn't granted any power over them. Government power is supposed to be explicitly granted not assumed and then limited later.

But hey, everything, including growing your own crops rather than buying them, is interstate commerce now [wikipedia.org] . If someone starts selling air in a can, they might have the authority to regulate your breathing the way things have been going

And people say this place has only been going into the shitter since Bush.

ffs (5, Insightful)

maliqua (1316471) | about a year ago | (#43444683)

Why is it the governments job to parent. keep an eye on kids, teenagers? lol teenagers if they eat them that's natural selection

death to children and teenagers. (5, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43444685)

children, maybe teenagers?

come on thats not saftey that Darwin, if your teenager is eating magnets then wtf are they going to do with a car, or the right to vote OMFG

Re: death to children and teenagers. (5, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year ago | (#43444753)

The situation that I heard about was teenagers (presumably at the lower end of that age range) accidentally ingesting them from putting them on their lips, tongue or teeth in trying to simulate piercings & jewelry.

It's still absolutely retarded that the CPSC is so bent on banning these things. I think the extent of their influence is getting them off retail store shelves, not outlawing their sale completely.

"At least" they've only gone after Buckyballs, not the other manufacturers. I bought mine from NeoCube [theneocube.com] , as they're by far the cheapest for their large combo set. Buckyballs are expensive. As NeoCube and others (like Zen Magnets) generally only sell online, I'm not sure if they're in the CPSC's reach.

Re: death to children and teenagers. (4, Informative)

deimtee (762122) | about a year ago | (#43445143)

"At least" they've only gone after Buckyballs, not the other manufacturers. I bought mine from NeoCube, as they're by far the cheapest for their large combo set. Buckyballs are expensive. As NeoCube and others (like Zen Magnets) generally only sell online, I'm not sure if they're in the CPSC's reach.

There's a banner on Neocube's website now that says :
THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 14!! Please Read All Warnings
NOT FOR SALE INSIDE THE U.S.

Re: death to children and teenagers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445313)

The situation that I heard about was teenagers (presumably at the lower end of that age range) accidentally ingesting them from putting them on their lips, tongue or teeth in trying to simulate piercings & jewelry.

Uh, with actions like that, it's not age I'm measuring in double-digits.

It's still absolutely retarded that the CPSC is so bent on banning these things...

Well, you can either blame a lawyer for our litigious society (careful if you do though, you might get sued), or you can blame the fact that common sense went out the window with this generation of uber-morons.

At least with teenagers and common sense, they might actually live long enough to find some.

No chance with the lawyers.

Re: death to children and teenagers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445031)

children, maybe teenagers?

come on thats not saftey that Darwin, if your teenager is eating magnets then wtf are they going to do with a car, or the right to vote OMFG

Ah Murricans, - don't understand that government is the part of democracy that is supposed to take care of society. Soon you'll be able to give all your money to the man then blame yourself for doing it. Rupert Murdoch must be very proud of the job he has done on you.

Re: death to children and teenagers. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445119)

Ah, ignorant liberals who use words like Murricans - don't understand that the government's job is to take any role granted to it by its citizens and then do it in the most ludicrously inefficient and inept way possible. Big Government doesn't work, not in a country of real scale in terms of population, resources, and economy. It doesn't matter what political flavor that government is.

This really is a basic engineering problem, not a political one. Think scaling servers for a large online service, or scaling human effort on a large coding project like the Linux kernel, if you have no background in the history of world governments (or at least, any real insight into how moderns ones are doing) to draw similar lessons from.

On the small scale, centralized planning and execution can work. 50 people can start a commune, elect one really smart guy as Supreme Leader, let him dictate everything, and if he's benevolent it probably works out pretty well. He can plan what crops they grow and how food is shared, how work responsibilities are doled out, what behaviors are taboo, etc. He's a one-man government. This is basically how most small businesses operate: one or a few at the helm that kinda know what they're doing, centrally controlling a small array of complex bits. Or to jump over to other analogies again: a small but reasonably successful niche open source product, or a small website that has 10 visitors a day and is hoted on some crappy shared webhost service in a single VM.

Consider the other end of the spectrum: A country of the scale of the US, or Russia, or China (or really any of the next tier down in size either...), the Linux kernel project, a behemoth corporation like GE, a website like Wikipedia. Can you imagine what it would be like for one person to centrally plan the minutiae of any of these entities (or in the case of Wikipedia: having one server directly involved in coordinating all traffic and edits in realtime, instead of a distributed and scalable approach).

It can't happen: thing naturally become hierarchical and/or distributed, because anything else is crazy. Hierarchical only scales so far, but makes more intuitive sense to puny humans that are merely a few hundred years past the "Hey, we need to take baths regularly?" stage of societal evolution. So big governments and big corporations tend to be hierarchical. It's better than nothing, but it still doesn't scale that great. It's like moving from linear scaling to n/4 scaling or something.

Wikipedia knows how to scale servers: be distributed to the extent possible, avoid centralized contention points in the architecture. The Linux kernel project knows how to scale human effort in much the same way. GE doesn't really get "distributed human effort", they're still hierarchical. But: they're a hierarchical organization that, amongst a pool of millions of other competitors, *evolved* to be one of the best competitors ever. It's been honed for decades by market forces, and it's probably about as efficient as a behemoth hierarchical corporation can get. The US government (or any other large-scale government, of any political "type")? No real market force action: You get a little of it from geo-politics, but the pool's too small and things move too slow. Even bigger scale. The self-righteous mandate mentality that they are the law. I dare you to find any common task that both the US government and a corporation do, where the government does it more efficiently.

Re: death to children and teenagers. (1)

GNious (953874) | about a year ago | (#43445113)

children, maybe teenagers?

come on thats not saftey that Darwin, if your teenager is eating magnets then wtf are they going to do with a car, or the right to vote OMFG

Drive pickups and vote republican?

Re: death to children and teenagers. (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43445115)

if your teenager is eating magnets then wtf are they going to do with a car, ...

drive it while sexting.

...or the right to vote OMFG

Well, that one is easy... they'll swallow it too and they'll also become sick because of it.

Lawyers (1, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43444695)

Why pandering government officials need to die screaming like pigs in Hell [huffingtonpost.com] .

This is just ridiculous. Hell, just the infinitesimal decrease in future scientists because some kids won't be mesmerized will slow technological development enough to cause, by lack of invention, deaths to occur that wouldn't otherwise.

Lawyers are indistinguishable from a disease on the body of the populace. A parasite -- an organism that exists drawing resources from the host organism, and causing degradation to the host organism.

Thanks for the warning, Ill go buy some right away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444701)

My teenage boys enjoy them and so do I. Since they have been playing with them since they were children and we have not had a problem I think we are ok. Of course they are smart enough to not eat them since at least 7. They also have pocket knives and regularly start fires, I even have them use power tools. So far still count in base 10 and 2 working eyes.

Re:Thanks for the warning, Ill go buy some right a (1)

Z34107 (925136) | about a year ago | (#43444737)

My teenage boys enjoy them and so do I

I take this to mean that there are at least three of you.

So far still count in base 10 and 2 working eyes.

Two working eyes... You should have at least six of those. O nocuous magnets!

Re:Thanks for the warning, Ill go buy some right a (2)

rusty0101 (565565) | about a year ago | (#43444765)

Dude! Be careful with those parenting skills. Parents have been being arrested and their local police departments are trying to get their children taken away from them for doing such dangerous things to children as teaching them to be responsible, and letting them demonstrate those skills. It's a dangerous world out there for parents these days.

Goodbye Buckyballs (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about a year ago | (#43444741)

These retailers have agreed to participate because Maxfield & Oberton has refused to participate in the recall of all Buckyballs and Buckycubes.

Nice to see that Maxfield & Oberton were willing to brave it out and stick up for themselves and our rights to own Buckyballs! Let's go see if they have any reaction to the news on their homepage [getbuckyballs.com] .

On December 27, 2012 Maxfield & Oberton Holdings, LLC (the "Company") stopped doing business and filed a Certificate of Cancellation with the Secretary of State of Delaware, thereby ceasing to exist pursuant to applicable Delaware law. The MOH Liquidating Trust has been established to deal with and, to the extent they are valid, pay, to the extent assets are available, certain claims which have been, and may later be, asserted against the Company. If you believe you have a claim against the Company, please click on link below to obtain the Proof of Claim form which you must complete and submit to the Trustee of the MOH Liquidating Trust. If the Trustee determines that a claim is valid, the Trustee will pay that claim, to the extent assets are available, in accordance with the terms of the MOH Liquidating Trust.

Way to stick it to the man!? Now where do we get awesome magnets... - HEX

Re:Goodbye Buckyballs (2)

luckymutt (996573) | about a year ago | (#43444821)

Way to stick it to the man!? Now where do we get awesome magnets... - HEX

Right here [theneocube.com]

When magnets are outlawed... (1)

vuke69 (450194) | about a year ago | (#43444745)

...only outlaws will have magnets.

Re:When magnets are outlawed... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43444795)

So THAT's how Magneto started!

Incredibly stupid (5, Informative)

Zaldarr (2469168) | about a year ago | (#43444781)

There was a big hoo-ha in Australia about 6mo ago where a 12 year old kid swallowed a bunch of them that were sitting on a high shelf in his father's locked study. So the kid, who is 12 and should have known better, went into his fathers office, climbed up the shelf, pulled down metal balls and proceeded to eat them. The mother went on to campaign for them to be pulled from Australian stores, which they were 4 months later.

Now the infuriating thing about this is that because of one *incredibly* stupid kid everybody doesn't get some awesome toys. My 26 year old brother in law is pretty annoyed because he spends a lot of his free time tinkering with big blocks of them and now he can't get anymore. These are not children's toys and it is foolish to ban them entirely because some dumbass kid was stupid. By that logic you'd have to ban every adult product on the logic that it was not safe for children

New Zealand has followed suit, and then some (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444851)

New Zealand has banned the importing for personal or consumer use of all extremely strong magnets that are small enough to be swallowed. One could get around that by importing large ones. but they pose a somewhat larger and more immediate hazard.

Re:Incredibly stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445043)

the answer it simple. buy them in canberra
i'll bet they haven't been banned there

A growing problem (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43444783)

The risk for teenagers comes from attempts to use magnets to simulate piercings. [lww.com]

See "Magnet Ingestions in Children Presenting to United States Emergency Departments from 2002 to 2011." [nih.gov] "A national estimate of 16,386 (95% CI: 12,175-20,598) children The incidence of visits increased 8.5-fold (0.45 per 100,000 to 3.75 per 100,000) from 2002 to 2011 with a 75% average annual increase per year. The majority of patients reported to have ingested magnets were under 5 years (54.7%). From 2009-2011 there was an increase in older children ingesting multiple small and/or round magnets, with a mean average age of 7.1+-0.56 years over the study period. "

Re:A growing problem (5, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43444853)

Smoking is a problem. Motor vehicle accidents are a problem. Guns related deaths (some say it isn't) are a problem.

A product that has sold 2.2million sets resulting in 33 surgical procedures and 1 death since 2010 is NOT a problem.

Re:A growing problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444965)

Smoking is a problem. Motor vehicle accidents are a problem. Guns related deaths (some say it isn't) are a problem.

A product that has sold 2.2million sets resulting in 33 surgical procedures and 1 death since 2010 is NOT a problem.

Giving darwin award candidates the ability to do more crazy stuff might harm more people than just themsleves in the future. I don't understand how you can swallow them if they snapped off your tongue. My first reaction would be to spit them out and use the same pair if I would do a second try (They have to come of to the sides or to the tip as the tongue gets bigger towards the throat anyway.). They definitly should be old enough to come to the conclusion that if they want to do it a second time that spitting them out is the better solution, because they got more parts to try with.

Re:A growing problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445079)

Giving darwin award candidates the ability to do more crazy stuff might harm more people than just themsleves in the future. I don't understand how you can swallow them if they snapped off your tongue.

From TFA:

We provided care to a 10-year-old girl who had placed 2 Buckyballs magnets in her mouth as a makeshift tongue ring, and accidentally swallowed both magnets.

This is what happens when boyfriends complain about girls that spit instead of swallowing.

Now pardon me while I sit back and enjoy some banjo music.

Re:A growing problem (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43445213)

Could you please supply the exact number of children's deaths over a 3 year period that you believe would justify banning the product. Thanks.

Re:A growing problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445239)

17 and a half

Re:A growing problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444907)

Problem? That's improving the gene pool.

Wait, just so I understand. (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43444803)

I may not buy magnets because some parents are stupid enough to give high power magnets to kids?

That's messing with nature, weeding out those too stupid to breed and take care of their offspring. Sorry, but if you're stupid enough to think extra powerful magnets are something that belongs in your kids hands, your genes should go down the tubes.

Re:Wait, just so I understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444861)

I may not buy magnets because some parents are stupid enough to give high power magnets to kids?

There's a great number of people out there who think I shouldn't be able to buy a rifle with a black stock and a bayonet mount, because some people are stupid.

There's a mayor who thinks I shouldn't be able to buy a 32oz soft drink, because some people are stupid.

There are a large number of soccer moms who are literally wetting their pants and think I shouldn't be able to buy a chemistry set with anything fun in it.

Welcome to the U.S. - leave your testes at the door, thanks, honey!

Re:Wait, just so I understand. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43445049)

afaik these don't ban magnets themselves. just packing them in a toy like box and being available at your toystore!

In releted news ... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43445063)

... CERN's LHC will be decommissioned due to fears that scientists might swallow the accelerator magnets.

Re:Wait, just so I understand. (2)

itsdapead (734413) | about a year ago | (#43445149)

I may not buy magnets because some parents are stupid enough to give high power magnets to kids?

RTFA. The recall is for a particular type of magnetic toy, not "high power magnets" per se. Its one thing to sell potentially dangerous items - its another thing to package them as toys [gajitz.com] *.

Also - as someone has pointed out elsewhere - there is a particular problem with older kids using these to make fake tongue piercings - so its not just parents giving them to babies and toddlers who will swallow anything.

Plus - this threat isn't immediately obvious. There have been magnetic toys since the year dot - but not ones that were (a) small enough to swallow and (b) still powerful enough to clamp your intestines together.

Remember that when idiots scramble their intestines, the cost of fixing the mess will still make its way through to your tax and/or medical insurance bill.

* I remember a 1930s book of science experiments for kids that included such gems as making a carbon arc torch from the graphite rods out of batteries using - wait for it - a variable resistor made from two stones in a dish of salty water to cut 110V mains down to 50V**. What could possibly go wrong? They did tell you to wear sunglasses.

**Not only did they skip Health and Safety assessments in those days, I suspect they skipped the "will it actually work?" assessments, too.

Re:Wait, just so I understand. (1)

makomk (752139) | about a year ago | (#43445179)

Would you be willing check, every time, that every single magnet went back in the case even if it took you several days to find the ones that went missing? Because if not, there's a good chance that you'd be a danger to kids if you got your hands on a set of these magnets - even if you don't have kids of your own, it just takes a visiting kid finding a couple and eating them, or them getting trapped in the tread of your shoe and deposited somewhere where kids could eat them, or... They don't look obviously dangerous and all the warnings are on the box. Hell, I think some people on here have been building desk sculptures from them, and they're dangers to kids too even if they don't realise it.

Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444841)

Let's create a Buckyball singularity instead.

Warning (3, Funny)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43444845)

In news tonight the CPSC have called for more warning labels on things that could potentially in rare cases cause death or hospitalisation. This follows the single reported death due to ingestion of bucky balls, a popular product designed exclusively to kill babies. One Californian senator however says the CPSC is dragging its feet and has a long way to go to protect Americans. He has repeatedly criticized the CPSC over its lack of interest and regulation of gun sales urging both the department and retailers to place signs on all ammunition saying "Warning: May contain lead".

Over my dead body (4, Funny)

TheReaperD (937405) | about a year ago | (#43444899)

You can have my BuckyBalls when you pry them from my cold dead fingers!

Re:Over my dead body (5, Funny)

cffrost (885375) | about a year ago | (#43444975)

You can take my Buckballs when you dig them out of my cold, rotting intestines. ;o)

Re:Over my dead body (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a year ago | (#43444979)

Swallow one, wait three hours, swallow another, wait for four days to a month and we can do that :)

Sheesh, it says VOLUNTARY!

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444905)

They're banning molecules now? Time to get that petition to ban water going again...

teenagers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43444967)

Warning: toddlers might swallow
is a pretty common warning, but teenagers?

No. (1)

davmoo (63521) | about a year ago | (#43445145)

Not only will I not submit my sets for recall, I intend to buy more than the 6 sets I already have. If you're so fucking stupid that eat magnets, that's not my problem. And likewise, if you're too stupid to educate or protect your children, that's not my problem either.

Wrong Type? (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year ago | (#43445211)

Maybe the people who had issues with the buckyballs ordered the "assault buckyballs" instead of the normal one because we all know some are much more dangerous based on appearance.

Re:Wrong Type? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445369)

'assault buckyballs'???? where can i get those??? i assume they are painted camo colors, i gotta get me some of that!

Deceitful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445241)

All in the name of saving a handful of lives they say.

The success of Buckyballs was attributed to it's addictive nature and weird properties - magnetic rocks also known as Rare earth element(REE's). The idea in itself is great; the long term prosperity of this idea isn't.

The main component of a buckyball is Neodymium [wikipedia.org] in which has several deposits around the world with the main REE deposits located in China with other deposits scattered around the world. In the past year, it's been reported [slashdot.org] several [slashdot.org] times [slashdot.org] that the Chinese government has very little interest in supplying the world with this mineral that is used more and more frequently in high-end technology. As restrictions have been placed on the import, a country must secure as much of the material as possible in the event that the unthinkable occurs. [rt.com]

As this is a voluntary recall, consider what will be done with the recalled products. Will they be sent back to China with a note about how unsafe it was for Americans and asking for a refund? Do you really believe that today's government is out to protect its citizens by such a trivial and mostly harmless toy?

Remove all safety labels (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445309)

Remove all of them, just for one generation.
Too many stupid people exist.

"My microwave has no metal warnings?! In you go fork! mmm love that plasma'd taste"

Do it for societies sake. Adults with childish mental-states should only exist in (age)play and disease.
These people are just a special kind of broken. Nature wants them to die.

Sell them magnetic food and magnetised clothing.

SC is working on a Law (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445347)

South Carolina has introduced state legislation that would make possession or sale of spherical magnets smaller than 1 inch in diameter a Class C Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and limits the sale or possession of ALL magnets that are "just magnets" to industrial and commercial use only. For residential use, under the new legislation, all magnets must be part of an assembly that cannot be ingested, and the magnets cannot be removable from the product.

Idiocracy. For the children.

You'll Take them Out Of My Kids Cold Dead Hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43445393)

Guns dont kill children buckyballs do

Re:You'll Take them Out Of My Kids Cold Dead Hand (1)

umghhh (965931) | about a year ago | (#43445423)

if they swallow them and thengo to get MRI
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