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Magnet Safety

Some magnets are incredibly strong, and there are certain ways to handle them to avoid hurting yourself, others, or even cause damage to the magnets themselves.

Here are some ways to practice magnet safety:

  • If dealing with two strong magnets, be sure to keep your fingers out from in between them. The attraction could be so strong as to pinch body parts – causing some serious pain!
  • Some magnets (such as neodymium magnets) are really brittle. This means that if they’re allowed to slam together, they might crack, peel, or even shatter altogether. For this reason, you should wear eye protection to maintain safe handling.
  • Neodymium magnets are often to blame for damaging other media, like magnetic ID cards, floppy discs, and even credit cards. You should be aware that if these things are placed next to each other, or in really close proximity to each other, there’s a chance something will stop working.
  • Did you know some magnets are strong enough to affect a person’s pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator? NdFeB magnets have caused interference with these cardiac devices, making them hazardous to patients who have them. The device should return to normal function once the magnet is removed from proximity, but you should always read the warning labels on household magnets to increase awareness of these risks.
  • Toxic fumes, anyone? Burning Neodymium magnets will create them, so don’t do it.
  • Magnets come in all shapes and sizes … including sizes small enough for children to choke on. That being said, it’s important to keep small magnets out of the reach of children. If you do allow children to handle magnets, make sure they’re constantly supervised by an adult. Little fingers do not fare well slammed in larger magnets, either, so don’t let magnetic attraction work against you!
  • Although there isn’t strong evidence to prove this theory, it’s still a common practice for pregnant women to avoid interaction with strong magnets. Just something to keep in mind!