A new standard specification developed by ASTM International’s consumer products committee (F15) aims to improve the labeling, packaging, and marketing of adult magnet sets containing small, powerful magnets to increase child safety.
These magnet sets (with a flux index ≥50 kG2 mm2) intended for adults are currently sold without guidance as to appropriate marketing practices and warnings. There have been instances in which children suffered serious injuries when the magnets have been ingested.
This new standard, soon to be published as F3458, seeks to minimize accidental ingestion of magnets intended for adult use by establishing warning labeling and marketing requirements. It also requires the product be sold with a storage container that young children will have difficulty opening to lessen the risk of exposure.
Manufacturers will benefit from a safety specification addressing product packaging and labeling, including appropriate warning verbiage and placement. Marketing requirements will assist manufacturers in assuring the product is not marketed as a toy for children. Laboratories can also apply the test methods included in the standard when testing for compliance.
Because these magnet sets are intended for adult use, they are not currently covered under the toy standard ASTM F963.
The committee plans to continue meeting to discuss standardization needs to address the safety of consumers. ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at www.astm.org/JOIN.