Videos: What Are Zen Magnets and Why Is the Federal Government Banning Them?

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The CPSC began getting reports of kids swallowing magnets in 2010 -- and the number of reports grew each year. Here's one child's story, as told by the Today show:

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It wasn't just toddlers who were swallowing magnets. Teens were swallowing them too, often while using the magnets to mimic tongue piercings. So the CPSC hired a teen actor and made a safety video in an attempt to curb that behavior:

But the agency notes that how-to videos made by teenagers instructing other teenagers how to use magnets to fake piercings continued to get more views:

Continue for more videos, including some made by Zen Magnet users.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar