Health Canada Issues Notice Regarding Children’s Toys with Magnets

December 3, 2013 | Health Canada, the Canadian agency responsible for regulating consumer products, has issued a notice about products that contain powerful magnets or magnetic components for companies that manufacture, import, and/or distribute in Canada.

The notice includes information regarding the dangers posed by some toys containing magnets and advises companies to take the necessary action to ensure that all products being marketed in Canada do not present a danger to human health or safety, as outlined in the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA).

“In its notice, Health Canada appropriately recognizes international standards for magnets in toys, citing ASTM F963, ISO 8124, and EU regional standard EN71,” said Joan Lawrence, vice president of standards and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA).  “It should be noted that both the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada, as well as some other international regulators, reserve the right to apply toy requirements for magnets to products other than toys, such as adult desk accessories or stress-relievers, and have done so in the past.”

As previously reported, Health Canada issued a press release in April 2013 detailing the steps it would take to improve the safety of consumer products, stating that it would focus increased attention on products containing more than one small, powerful magnet – including toys, sculpture building products, and those intended for mental stimulation or stress relief, regardless of the intended age of the user.

Questions about the Health Canada notice may be directed to CCPSA-LCSPC@hc-sc.gc.ca or by phone at 1-866-662-0666.

All toys containing powerful magnets or magnetic components sold in the U.S. must meet the requirements of ASTM F963.