The fun educational toy is apparently more dangerous than the government would prefer
Purveyors and purchasers of small, tiny, spherical magnets take note: You're dealing in forbidden goods. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a ban on the sale of Buckyballs, an "educational toy" consisting of a handful of small, tiny magnets.
The ban is the agency's first in the last 11 years, and apparently there's a solid reason behind it. If swallowed individually, Buckyballs could possibly reattach somewhere in your intestines, damaging tissue to the point where surgery would be required. According to an American Academy of Pediatrics report, there were 60 magnet ingestion cases over the last two years which resulted in 26 surgeries. At least 22 of these cases were connected with Buckyballs.
A number of retailers from Amazon.com to Urban Outfitters have agreed to stop selling the balls, but the creators of the product are digging their heels into the ground and turning the issue into an election year missive on the president. Buckyball creator Craig Zucker says he will "vigorously fight this action taken by President Obama's handpicked agency."
"As a small business owner I'm left wondering what to tell my employees and their families. How can this happen in America," grandstanded Zucker.
If you've purchased the balls in the past, the creators of Buckyballs have been directed by the government to provide refunds. Alternatively, you could just choose to keep and enjoy your Buckyballs while resisting the tempting urge to eat them — for America.