Are Neodymium Magnets Safe?

Are Neodymium Magnets Safe?

Have you ever wondered about whatever magnets are safe or not? In this post, you can find out if magnets are safe. Including ways they are safe, and how they can be dangerous if you do not handle them in the right way.

Are neodymium magnets safe? Neodymium magnets are perfectly safe to use, as long as you handle them with proper care. Magnetic fields are not dangerous to humans at all. Though, magnets can damage some electronic devices. For example, TV’s, hearing aids, watches, credit cards, and computers can all be damaged to magnets.

Do you feel well informed about the safety of magnets? If you do, great! If you don't, you should keep reading. In this post, we will not only tell you how and why magnets can be dangerous, but we will also walk through some basic tips for how you should handle your magnets in different situations.

Are neodymium magnets safe?

Neodymium magnets are perfectly safe for humans and animals as long as you handle them with care. For older kids and grown ups, smaller magnets can be used for everyday applications and entertaining.

But remember, magnets are not a toy for toddlers and minor kids to play with. You should never leave them alone with strong magnets like neodymium magnets. First of all, they might choke on the magnets if they swallow them.

You should also be careful not to hurt your hands and fingers when handling stronger magnets. Some neodymium magnets are strong enough to cause some serious damage to your fingers and/or hands if they get jammed between a strong magnet and metal or another magnet.

You should also be cautious with your electronic devices. Strong magnets like neodymium magnets can as mentioned before, damage some electronic devices. Therefore, you should keep your magnets in a safe distance to tv’s, credit cards, computers, hearing aids, speakers and similar electronic devices.

In general, you should try to follow these 5 tips when handling neodymium magnets.

  1. You should always wear safety goggles when handling large and strong magnets.
  2. You should always wear protective gloves when handling large and strong magnets
  3. Neodymium magnets are not a toy for children to play with. The magnets are very strong!
  4. Keep neodymium magnets at least 25 cm away from electronic devices.
  5. Keep neodymium magnets in a very safe and long distance from individuals with a pacemaker or an implanted heart defibrillator.

Safe transportation of neodymium magnets

In case you didn’t already know, magnets can’t just be shipped in an envelope or plastic bag like other goods. And you certainly can’t put them in a mailbox and expect everything to be business as usual shipping vise.

If you put it in a mailbox, it will simply stick to the inside of the mailbox, because they’re made of steel!

When shipping a strong neodymium magnet, you need to pack it so it doesn’t attach to steel objects or surfaces.

This can be done by using a cardboard box and a lot of soft packaging. The main object is to keep the magnet as far away from any steel as possible while reducing the magnetic force at the same time.

You can also use something called a “keeper”. A keeper is pieces of metal that close the magnetic circuit. You simply attach the metal to the two poles of the magnet, which will contain the magnetic field. This is a very effective way to reduce the magnetic force of the magnet while shipping it.

Neodymium magnets and health

Even though magnets is safe for people's health in general, it is important to remember that neodymium magnets can be dangerous for certain medical implants like pacemakers. Some people also experience problems with nickel allergies when handling some types of magnets, for example, the ones who are used in jewelry.

If you have a pacemaker or implanted heart defibrillator, you need to be aware that magnets can affect them. Strong permanent magnets, like neodymium magnets, can affect the function of both pacemakers and implanted heart defibrillators.

Studies how found that use of everyday magnets can affect such medical devices if they come within 24 centimeters of the device.

You can read more about the risk of mixing medical devices and strong magnets here:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18334784

As mentioned before, neodymium magnets that are coated with nickel can lead to an allergic reaction. Most people only react to nickel if they are exposed to it for a longer duration of time.

If you are allergic to nickel or worried that you might develop an allergy towards it, you should avoid contact with nickel for longer periods. It is very individual how much exposition of nickel one can handle, therefore you should handle it with caution.

Tips for safe handling of magnets

  • Choking/Swallowing

Do not let small children alone with magnets. Children can swallow smaller magnets. If one or several magnets are swallowed, they risk getting stuck in the intestine, which can cause perilous complications.

  • Electrical danger

Magnets are as you probably know, made of metal and electricity. Do not let children or anyone for that matter put magnets into an electrical outlet. It may cause an electric shock.

  • Watch your fingers

Some magnets, including neodymium magnets, can have a very strong magnetic strength. If you don’t handle the magnets in with caution, you risk jamming your fingers in between two strong magnets.

Very powerful magnets can even break bones. If you need to handle very large and powerful magnets, it is a good idea to wear protective gloves.

  • Don’t mix magnets and pacemakers

Magnets may affect pacemakers and internal heart defibrillators. For example, a pacemaker may go into test mode and cause the patient to get ill. Also, a heart defibrillator can stop working.

Therefore, you must keep such devices away from magnets. You should also advise others to do the same.

  • Heavy things

Too much weight and/or defects may cause objects to loosen from a magnet. Heavy objects falling from a height can be very dangerous and lead to serious accidents.

You can’t always count 100% on the indicated adhesive force of a magnet. The declared force is often tested in perfect conditions, where there is no disturbances or defects of any kind.

  • Metal fractures

Magnets made of neodymium can be quite fragile, which sometimes results in magnets cracking and/or splintering into many pieces. These splinters can be spread up to several meters away

  • Magnetic fields

Magnets produce a wide-reaching magnetic reach, which isn’t dangerous for humans but can cause damage to electronic devices, such as TV’s, hearing aids, watches, and computers.

To avoid this, you need to keep your magnets in safe distance from such devices.

  • Fire danger

If you process magnets, the dust can relatively easily ignite. Therefore, if you drill in magnets or any other activity which produces magnet-dust, keep fire in a safe distance.

  • Allergies

Some types of magnets may contain nickel. Even if they are not coated with nickel, they might still contain nickel. Some individuals may have an allergic reaction when they have contact with nickel. You might already have experienced this with some jewelry.

Be aware, nickel allergies can be developed from having contact with nickel-coated objects. If you already suffer from nickel allergy, you should, of course, avoid contact with that.