Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed a lawsuit to halt the production and sale of Buckyball magnets, citing several injuries to children that swallowed these miniscule magnetic pellets. These high-powered magnets are marketed exclusively for adults only. They are plastered with conspicuous labels warning of their danger to children; but yet, these nearly harmless magnets got into the hands of many irresponsible children. The recall stemmed from 2,900 reports of incidents of ingestions of Buckyballs, since 2009, causing internal injuries. In some rare cases, the CPSC likened the injuries to “as severe as a gunshot wound to the gut” which seldom required surgery. But how is this Craig Zucker’s fault, the owner and CEO of
Maxfield and Oberton? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),
Buckyballs’ havoc was his company’s fault and not the consumers. Clearly, the CPSC misstepped by banning Buckyballs, whose small effect was not at all the manufacturer’s fault. The labels were obvious and nearly impossible to ignore. In bright red and yellow, pervasively labeled on the product, it read, “WARNING Keep Away From All
Children” (Lewis 13). To ignore these “prominent labels warning to keep magnets away from kids,” (Lewis, 13) and getting hurt is irresponsible at best and stupid at the worst.
If parents and children actually followed the distinctive labels none of this would have happened. Obviously, it is not the manufacturer’s fault, but the consumer’s instead.
These quirky magnetic balls, when misused, does not have the largely over exaggerated effect that many people claim. In fact, statistics show that 0.00034482758 of people who required medical attention