The ACCC is reviewing the mandatory safety standards for toys including toys containing magnets and is seeking stakeholder feedback.
The review runs from 1 February 2017 to 31 March 2017. To contribute, please visit the review page on the ACCC consultation hub. (link is external)
A complete list of mandatory standards currently under review is available on the product safety consultation page.
The mandatory standard prescribes requirements for the testing, warning labels for packaging, and instructions to prevent serious illness that can result if children swallow hazardous magnets.
The mandatory standard applies to toys containing children's magnets and children's toys that:
- are supplied new and are designed or clearly intended for use in play by children under the age of 14 years
- contain hazardous small magnets
- contain hazardous small magnetic components.
The mandatory standard excludes:
- sporting goods
- camping goods
- home and public playground equipment
- electronic game units
- models powered by combustion or steam engines
- fashion jewellery.
Children can become seriously ill and die if they swallow a number of small strong or hazardous magnets. If more than one of these magnets is swallowed, they can become locked together through the walls of the intestines causing perforations, infections and blockages.
To avoid serious illness and death it is vital that this situation is identified quickly and the ingested magnets removed. Usually surgery is required to remove the magnets.
Consumer Protection Notice No. 5 of 2010 sets out the mandatory requirements for toys containing magnets.
The mandatory standard is based on certain sections of the voluntary Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002, Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties, and Amendment 2 to AS/NZS ISO 8124.1.
AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002 and its amendments are available from SAI Global.
For technical definitions of hazardous magnets and magnetic components, suppliers must read Amendment 2 to AS/NZ ISO 8124.1, published by Standards Australia on 20 February 2009.
Where a toy includes a hazardous magnet or magnetic component, the packaging and instructions must include a statement similar to the following:
'WARNING! The product contains small magnet(s). Swallowed magnets can stick together across intestines causing serious infections and death. Seek immediate medical attention if magnet(s) are swallowed or inhaled.'
Amendment 2 to AS/NZS ISO 8124.1 published by Standards Australian on 20 February 2009 sets out testing methods required to identify hazardous magnets and hazardous magnetic components. Where necessary, suppliers need to organise this testing through specialist laboratories with the right skills, experience and equipment.
Under the Australian Consumer Law supply includes: This ban applies to anyone in the business of supplying this product, including:
Under the Australian Consumer Law supply includes:
This ban applies to anyone in the business of supplying this product, including: