Small, high powered magnets banned

12 Nov 2012

Small, high powered magnets that can cause serious injury or death if swallowed by children have been permanently banned, said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

The products, marketed under various names including 'BuckyBalls' and ‘Nanodots’, contain numerous small, high-powered magnets and are sold in multiples of two or more. They are marketed as toys, games or puzzles, and can be sold as construction or modelling kits or even jewellery to be worn in or around the mouth or nose.

There have been reports of children swallowing the magnets, which can cause serious injury or even death.

“Following the consumer safety warning I issued in July, I have now permanently banned these products,” said Mr Bradbury.

“If a young child swallows more than one of these high-powered magnets they can attract to each other across the intestinal wall and perforate the intestine, leading to serious injury or possibly death. Teenagers have also needed surgery after using these magnets to imitate mouth or tongue piercings.

“Parents are reminded to always keep small objects that could pose a choking hazard away from children and to seek medical attention immediately if they suspect their child has swallowed small, high-powered magnets.”

More information can be found at

Contact details

Media contact

Justin Koek 0400 126 939

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Product category