Health Canada has announced a recall of Magnetic Putty, a toy sold at Gander Wholesales, due to the presence of arsenic and small magnets.
The agency says the toy comes in a round metal container and can be identified by this UPC:
Health Canada did not say exactly what prompted its officials to test the toy for arsenic but did disclose that it had previously identified the magnet component as a potential health risk.
Arsenic is, of course, toxic. Short-term exposure can cause a variety of symptoms in people of all ages; chronic childhood exposure is believed to be linked to lower IQs.
The magnet components are also troubling, say health officials. If multiple small magnets are swallowed, they can actually attract one another and reconnect through the walls of a child’s digestive tract, tearing holes in the tract’s lining, pinching off entire sections or creating blockages. Any of those situations could create a life-threatening emergency.
The press release about this recall did not say how many magnets each toy contains but did characterize them as sized to “be easily swallowed or inhaled.”
Neither the company nor Health Canada have received any reports of that happening.
Around 1160 of the toys are believed to have been sold. They were made in China and were on store shelves as recently as March.