Neodymium magnets are the most powerful magnets in the world, but as with handling any piece of powerful equipment, appropriate safety precautions must be taken. As a whole, neo magnets are very safe—they do not release any toxic byproducts, they are perfectly safe to touch with your bare hands, they do not have any electric wiring or other components that can result in shock, and they are not jagged, abrasive, or sharp. Accidents are extremely rare, but it is still important to always adhere to proper safety procedures when handling neodymium magnets.
Neodymium Magnets are Not Toys
There have been a few frightening news stories in the past few years, swirling rumors about mysterious, powerful magnets that innocent parents purchased for their children to play with, only for children to swallow and have to be rushed to the emergency room to resolve complications. The neodymium magnets that these children were playing with are not inherently harmful, but these magnets are a tool—not a toy. It is essential to point out that just as you would not allow a child to play with tools such as a power drill, children must not be allowed to handle neo magnets. There are certainly appropriate magnets for children to play with that can facilitate education and creativity—but neo magnets are NOT for children. When selecting a magnet for an activity involving children, select a lower strength magnet such as an alnico or ceramic magnet, and make sure to select a large magnet that children can safely handle without putting them at risk of choking or swallowing the magnet.
Powerful Magnets – Watch Your Fingers
For adults, the risks are less frightening when handling neodymium magnets, as we are less likely to attempt swallowing them. However, these powerful magnets still have some inherent risks as a result of their great strength. If two neo magnets are placed at a distance from each other, they can rapidly attract to each other and slam together. Because they are brittle, this might lead to them chipping or having shards break off. For this reason, it is important to wear protective eyewear when handling neodymium magnets and to make sure these magnets are not placed inappropriately. Similarly, if your hands or fingers are in the path of these attracting magnets, severe pinching can occur.
Keep Away from Electronic Devices
The third main area where neodymium magnets have the potential to cause harm to people is around other electronic equipment, as their powerful magnetic force can interfere with other devices. For this reason, people who have medical devices such as pacemakers must not interact with neo magnets, as this can be hazardous to their health and safety. Neodymium magnets must also be kept away from sensitive equipment such as credit cards, computers, and video tapes.
Not to be Machined
Finally, it is important to note that neodymium magnets should never be machined. Again, their brittle nature means they do not machine well and are prone to chipping and cracking. Additionally, machining generates heat which can demagnetize the material or even lead it to ignite. Ignition is of particular concern, as some neodymium magnets have coatings that are toxic when burned.
Neodymium Magnets are Perfectly Safe when Handled Correctly
Neo magnets are safe, but it is important not to engage in careless behavior that can lead to preventable accidents. To learn more about neodymium magnets and have your safety questions answered, Contact us Today.