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Magnetic Travel Map Recall Issued Over Child Ingestion Risk

Thousands of magnetic travel maps have been recalled, due to a risk that small children may ingest small magnetic pieces, which may cause serious internal injury. 

A Cinmar LLC World Magnet Travel Maps recall was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on August 4. The West Chester, Ohio, based retailer recalled the World Magnetic Travel Maps because of the risk they posed to children and teens.

The CPSC says the magnets used in the map pose a risk to children who may ingest the pieces. When two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link together in the intestines and clamp onto body tissues and organs. The magnets may cause intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and even death.

The recall notice warns that internal injury from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects. No are no reports of injuries or incidents involving the map magnets.

The recall affects about 4,500 World Magnetic Travel Maps sold in a Burlwood frame.  The maps measure 54 inches wide and 36 inches tall. They are sold with 50 magnetic markers and have an item number of 145684 printed on the packaging.

The maps were manufactured in China and sold in Frontgate stores and online at www.frontgate.com for about $225 from October 2015 through March 2016. They were imported by Cinmar LCC.

The CPSC warns consumers should stop using the magnetic markers that came with maps and keep the magnets out of the reach of children. The company calls on consumers to throw away the magnets or recycle them.

Cinmar is contacting consumers who purchased the products directly from the company and will provide instructions on how to receive replacement magnets. Consumers with questions can call Cinmar at 888-263-9850, or go to www.frontgate.com and click on “Safety Recall Notices” at the bottom of the web page.

Toy Magnet Health Risks

This is not the first time magnets have come under fire as a serious safety concern. In 2014 the CPSC responded to mounting reports of magnetic toy injuries. As a result the agency approved federal safety regulations designed to reduce the risk of problems linked to accidental ingestion of high powered magnets.

The new rules require individual magnets from a set that is sold as desk toys to be large enough that it does not fit into the CPSC’s small parts cylinder. The cylinder is a measuring tool for accidental swallowing risks.

Nearly 3,000 children and teens swallowed magnets and had to be treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. between 2009 and 2013. In one case, a 19-month old girl died after accidentally swallowing the magnets.

In 2012, the CPSC called on 13 companies to recall magnetic toys, including a recall of Buckyball and Zen Magnet products following reports of injuries. During that recall, 11 companies complied, however the agency issued administrative complaints against two manufacturers.

An estimated 3 million magnet sets were sold in the U.S. since 2010. Despite regulatory efforts, reports of injuries have continued, forcing safety regulators to place stronger warnings on the products to protect children.

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