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NeoMagnetic Cube metallic glazed spheres are one of the recalled products. (Health Canada)

Health Canada has ordered a toy maker to pull dangerous magnet sets off store shelves.

Distributor NeoMagnetic Gadgets Inc. of Montreal was ordered to issue a recall and stop sale after the company failed to take voluntary action to remove the novelty magnet sets from sale, Health Canada said Friday, noting the company has complied.

After Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq told industry that the government would act to remove dangerous magnet sets from the marketplace in April, the department issued advisories to warn of the dangers in May.

In March, pediatricians writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal warned that life-threatening problems can result if a child swallows small, high-powered magnets that are stronger than traditional magnets.

"Unlike other small objects that would be more likely to pass normally through the digestive system if swallowed, when more than one small powerful magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract one another while travelling through the digestive system," Health Canada said.

"The magnets can then pinch together and create a blockage and slowly tear through the intestinal walls, causing perforations."

The full recall list is on healthycanadians.gc.ca.

Consumers should stop using the recalled magnet sets immediately and contact their municipality for instructions on how to dispose of or recycle the products, the department said.

About 4,000 of the products were sold in Canada between February 2010 and this month.

Under Canada's Consumer Product Safety Act, recalled products can’t be redistributed, sold or given away.