Are Neodymium Magnets Safe?
People are usually bothered about how safe technological products are. Not neodymium magnets alone but every product of science and technology, including covid-19 vaccines, contraceptives, airplanes, and solar panels. People ask if Uber is safe. So if you’ve found yourself wondering if neodymium magnets are safe or not, you are not the only person. There are millions like you out there. So, in this article, we will answer your questions and provide some safety measures when handling neo-magnets.
Are Neodymium Magnets Safe?
Neodymium magnets are safe to use and keep around humans and animals without causing health complications. Of course, neo-magnets indeed generate powerful magnetic fields. However, these fields are safe to be around. The things magnetic fields affect are mainly metals and metal-containing alloys. So being around neodymium magnets should be safe for you.
There is a type of magnetic ball and sphere known as buckyballs. These magnetic balls are toys specifically made for toddlers and kids, as they can be manipulated into different shapes as the holder desires. Although magnetic balls have now been banned in some countries for kids of a certain age due to the risk of children swallowing them, they pose no risk due to touching and holding. Also, older kids and grown-ups can play with buckyballs as they know better than to swallow them.
That said, it is worthy of note that neodymium magnets are capable of causing physical harm if handled carelessly. For instance, neodymium magnets are among the strongest commercially available magnets presently, and that is due to the sheer force of attraction in them. Hence they can make other magnets or even steel, iron, and metal fly from their original positions to attach to them. If your fingers are caught between two neo magnets or a neo magnet and metal snapping together, you will likely suffer an injury. More information on the hazards of neodymium magnets will be provided later in the article.
Can Neodymium Magnets Cause Health Problems?
As mentioned, there have been misconceptions that neodymium causes certain health problems. However, that is nothing but a lie. There was once also a theory that wearing neodymium magnets increases the risk of accidents. But this theory has not been proven, as data on it remains insufficient.
Even though neodymium magnets cannot cause health hazards, certain people should avoid contact with magnets at all costs. They include those who wear cardiac pacemakers and ICDs (Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillators). These products are opposed to magnetism, and being around powerful magnets can put their wearers at significant risk.
Rather than cause health problems, neodymium magnets have been used in health and medicine to help improve the quality of life of humans. They have been used in equipment such as X-ray machines and MRI scanners.
Hazards of Neodymium Magnets
Despite the usefulness of neodymium magnets, such that they are even used in therapy, health, and medicine, they are still not without their hazards.
- The danger of Breaking or Exploding
As previously mentioned. Neodymium magnets are extremely powerful, so placing two nearby is risky. When two neodymium magnets are close to each, the fierce pull from both magnets causes them to leap forcefully toward each other with great acceleration. When they slam together, both magnets usually explode, sending chips and broken pieces off at high speeds. The broken pieces have the potential to fly into someone’s eyes or cause cuts to the skin. Also, the magnets become typically unusable afterward.
When trying to fix two neo-magnets together, keeping each one on either side of flat non-magnetic material such as wood is best. Then gently and slowly slide out the separator so that both magnets may attach with minimal force.
- Danger Towards Magnetically Sensitive Items
As an item that generates a magnetic field, you should not place a neodymium magnet close to any item sensitive to magnetism, as the magnetic field may alter the proper functioning of such items. These include but are not limited to cardiac Pacemakers, ICDs, compasses, hearing aids, mechanical watches, memory cards, hard drives, and many more.
There have been reports of certain people having allergies to nickel. Now, nickel is an essential element in the composition of neodymium magnets as it is used in the alloy and the coating material that makes the magnet’s finish. People allergic to nickel may suffer an allergic reaction after contacting neo magnets. These may show redness or inflammation of the skin. If you have previously exhibited allergic reactions to nickel, you should probably stay away from neodymium magnets.
- Danger of Fire
Neodymium magnets are made by a process known as sintering. Sintering is a technique of molding where the dust of the alloy in use is pressed into shape under very high temperatures just below the melting point and extreme pressure. The heat softens the powdered alloy enough to condense into a solid but not enough to melt it into liquid. Due to this process, neo magnets are tough and brittle, and much care is needed when handling them.
It would be best if you didn’t attempt to drill a neodymium magnet. And if you will, drill it with a diamond-tipped drill and have a coolant handy to cool the magnet from time to time. The coolant is essential because neodymium dust is highly flammable and may catch fire from the spark generated from within the magnet being drilled.
Safety Precautions in Handling Neodymium Magnets
You can be injured in several ways when handling neodymium magnets, from blisters when your fingers are caught between two pieces slamming into each other to broken pieces flying into your eye. But to prevent these, below are safety precautions for handling neodymium magnets:
- Avoid handling magnets when it is not necessary to do so
- Attempt to keep strong magnets away from the head, eyes, heart, and trunk regions of the body
- Avoid long-term close bodily contact with strong magnets.
- Those with cardiac pacemakers, hormone infusion pumps, or other sensitive medical devices should avoid interacting with magnets at all costs.
- Keep your electronics and credit cards stored away safely when working with magnets.
- Always wear safety goggles when working with magnets.
- Ensure that daily exposure does not exceed 2,000 gausses or 0.2 tesla
- Keep children as far as possible away from powerful neodymium magnets
- Safely discard novelty magnet sets with small, powerful magnets.
- Seek immediate medical attention for any person who has swallowed (or is suspected of having swallowed) 1 or more magnets.
- Read and follow the age recommendations, warnings, safety messages, and product assembly instructions.
About Neodymium Magnets
Neodymium magnets are a type of rare earth permanent magnets. Being a rare earth magnet means their composition is made primarily of a rare earth element; neodymium. Being a permanent magnet means they can generate magnetic fields independently without the influence of an external magnetic field. Although there are about 17 rare earth elements, the only other rare earth magnet is based on Samarium mixed with Cobalt, a non-rare earth element.
Neodymium magnets are the most powerful permanent magnets available on the market today. They have found applications across many industries, from health and space tech to automotive and information technology. Neo magnets are remarkably resistant to high temperatures and perform excellently in extremely low temperatures.
Due to their heat resistance, neodymium magnets are used in assemblies that typically generate heat, including electric motors, starter motors, wind turbines, and generators. Not only are neodymium magnets superior in performance, but they are also more affordable than samarium-cobalt magnets.
Applications of Neodymium Magnets in Health and Wellness
The health and wellness sector is another area where neodymium magnets are used in clinical tools. For instance, they are used in magnetic resonance imaging devices to detect and deal with chronic pain syndrome, joint inflammation, wound recovery, insomnia, headache, and various other diseases because they generate a static electromagnetic field.
A rise in their use has been observed over the last decade. These magnets are believed to have a curing result as well as are, as a result, in some cases, called “magic magnets.”
NASA uses neodymium magnets to maintain the muscular tonus of astronauts during space flights.
Neodymium magnets have push-pull forces and have been used as a motion-generating device in orthodontic treatments, molar distillation, and palatal growth.
Static electromagnetic fields have been reported to stimulate bone development via osteoblastic differentiation or activation.
As far as magnets go, neodymium magnets are safe for industrial and personal purposes. The only requirement is to adhere to the safety precautions to protect yourself against the hazards that may come with handling magnets.
If you are a manufacturer or a scientist working on magnets projects and looking to procure powerful industrial magnets, you can’t go wrong with ROBO Magnetic.
ROBO Magnetic is a leading manufacturer and supplier of neodymium magnets to Asia, Europe, and America. With over 16 years of fine-tuning our process, we supply high-quality Neodymium magnets of international standard to clients in the United Kingdom, France, the United States, China, Canada, and more. We supply magnets in different shapes, sizes, and grades. To order custom neo magnets, you must provide your desired specifications, including the dimensions and grades. Our representative will then contact you to finalize the details.
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