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Are Neodymium Magnets Toxic?

The toxicity of neodymium magnets may be questionable as most people find them around them every time. However, Neodymium magnets are almost everywhere and are often not found toxic except in a few situations. Neodymium magnets are the most powerful on the planet, and the extremely strong force between them may take you by surprise at first. Neodymium is a silvery-yellow metal with a glossy finish. It is very reactive and rapidly oxidizes in the air. The coating generated does not prevent the metal from further oxidation; therefore, it must be kept away from the air. It responds slowly to cold water and quickly to hot water.

You’ve probably heard of neodymium magnets and maybe even utilized them in your projects. But are neodymium magnets toxic? What should you do to safeguard yourself and your family if this is the case?

We’ll get to the answers soon enough, but first, let’s define neodymium magnets and their current usage.

What Exactly is a Neodymium Magnet?

Neodymium magnets comprise the elements neodymium, boron, iron, and a few transition metals. These magnets are known as NdFeB or Neo magnets. The composition of these magnets may be changed depending on the strength required and the purpose of the magnet. Corrosion is the most serious hazard to neodymium magnets; they harden and become brittle. As a result, they are surface treated.

Neodymium magnets are incredibly low in weight despite their considerable strength. Neodymium magnets are a key component in today’s technological advancements.

Neodymium magnets are categorized into two categories based on the production process:

  • Magnets made of sintered NdFeB
  • Magnets with NdFeB bonds

The raw materials for sintered NdFeB magnets are melted in a furnace. Later, the ingots were cast into a mold and cooled. Milling is used for crushing and powdering the ingots. It is then sintered into dense bricks. The blocks are then heat-treated and shaped before being surface-treated to avoid corrosion and magnetization.

Bonded NdFeB magnets are made by melting and spinning a thin NdFeB alloy ribbon. The ribbon is made up of nano-scale Nd2Fe14B grains that are randomly arranged. After that, the ribbon is crushed into particles and combined with a polymer. They are formed into bonded magnets via compression or injection molding.

Applications

Hard Disk Drives (HDDs): Neodymium magnets are used for manufacturing hard disks. A hard drive has magnetic cells in the form of tracks and sectors. When data is written to the drive, these cells become magnetized.

Loudspeakers, Microphones, & Headphones: Neodymium magnets are also used for manufacturing loudspeakers, microphones, and headphones. Current-carrying coils in these devices work with permanent magnets to turn electricity into mechanical energy.

Dentures: Small neodymium magnets are used to secure dentures in place.

Door Pitchers: Neodymium magnets are applicable in the production of home materials. For safety and security, neodymium magnetic catches are used on doors in both residential and commercial structures.

Magnetic Jewelry: Neodymium magnets manufacture magnetic treatment jewelry, bracelet, and necklace clasps.

Sensors For Anti-Lock Brakes: In its sensors, anti-lock brakes in automobiles utilize neodymium magnets wrapped within copper coils.

MRI Scanners: Neodymium magnets are used in the functioning of MRI scanners. These magnets are used for advertising at point-of-sale displays.

Are Neodymium Magnets Dangerous?

Neodymium magnets are completely safe for people and animals if handled properly. Older children and adults may employ smaller magnets for daily uses and entertainment.

But keep in mind that magnets are not a toy for toddlers or young children. Never leave kids alone with powerful magnets such as neodymium magnets. First and foremost, if they ingest the magnets, they may choke.

You should also avoid injuring your hands and fingers when working with stronger magnets. Some neodymium magnets are powerful enough to cause serious injury to your fingers and/or hands if they become trapped between a strong magnet and metal or another magnet.

You should also exercise caution when using electronic devices. Strong magnets, such as neodymium magnets, can, as previously stated, damage some electronic devices. As a result, keep your magnets away from televisions, credit cards, computers, hearing aids, speakers, and other electronic devices.

Environment Exposure to Neodymium

Neodymium is the second most abundant rare-earth element (after cerium) and is nearly as plentiful as copper. It can be found in all lanthanide minerals, including monazite and bastnasite. The primary countries are Brazil, China, the United States, India, Sri Lanka, and Australia. The world’s neodymium reserves are estimated to be 8 million tonnes, with an annual output of 7.000 tonnes.

Neodymium’s Health Effects

Although neodymium has no biological purpose in humans, it may impact some regions of the body: neodymium dust and salts irritate the eyes. If ingested, neodymium salts are soluble, they are just slightly toxic, and if insoluble, they are non-toxic.

Because damps and gasses may be breathed with air, neodymium is largely harmful in the workplace. This may result in pulmonary embolisms, particularly if exposed for an extended period. When neodymium accumulates in the human body, it may harm the liver.

Neodymium’s Environmental Impact

Neodymium is discharged into the environment in various ways, mostly by the petroleum industry. It may also enter the environment when home items are discarded. Neodymium will progressively build in soils and water, producing higher quantities of neodymium in inhabitants (humans), animals, and soil particles.

In aquatic animals, neodymium induces cell membrane destruction, which has several harmful effects on reproductive and nervous system activities.

Considerations for Neodymium Magnet Safety

Because neodymium has a very strong magnetic field, it may be harmful if it comes into touch with certain things. A neodymium magnet may cause havoc on a variety of electrical devices, with a variety of consequences.

Keep it away from persons with a pacemaker or other implanted device since the magnetic field might interfere with the device, creating significant health and safety issues.

Keep neodymium magnets away from hard drives, disks, and videotapes while storing. Neodymium magnets may also disrupt navigational instruments such as compasses. One reason these magnets are often delivered via land is the impact of large magnetic fields on navigation.

Attraction

Neodymium magnets are very appealing, even from a distance of several inches. The force is strong enough to pierce flesh and inflict severe harm. It might shatter a finger depending on the size of the magnet.

When these magnets were mistakenly ingested, they attracted across the membranes of the intestines and other organs, causing serious injury and even death.

When separating magnets for storage and transportation, use gloves to avoid pinching dangers and utilize spacers (plastic, wood, or cardboard). Keep magnets out of the reach of youngsters.

Breakage

Wear eye protection to safeguard your eyes. Due to the fragile nature of neodymium, there is a considerable chance of breaking. When two magnets are swiftly pulled close, the force between them may chip or shatter the magnet. Handlers and onlookers are then at risk from these flying shards and bits. Take

Flammability

A neodymium magnet’s dust or powder is very combustible. Avoid manually harming the magnet in poorly ventilated environments by drilling or grinding. The ensuing dust might readily catch fire. So, be careful when you find yourself in an environment where neodymium magnet drilling or grinding is carried out.

Corrosion

In humid conditions, uncoated Neodymium magnets are prone to corrosion, which reduces the magnet’s strength. Nickel, copper, epoxy, and parylene are some typical corrosion-resistant coatings.

Neodymium Magnet Storage Procedures

When exposed to high temperatures, neodymium magnets lose strength. Storage should take place in a humidity- and temperature-controlled setting. Neodymium magnets should not be used or stored near a heat source.

When exposed to air, magnets will attract any ferrous particles in the air and on nearby surfaces. Keep the magnets in their original ROBO Magnetic packaging to prevent this.

Neodymium magnets should be kept in well-sealed, clean containers, away from sensitive electronics and magnetized media like magnetic cassettes or cathode ray tubes (CRT). Demagnetization is dangerous when magnets of different alloys (such as neodymium and ceramic) are kept close together. Maintain a buffer between the various kinds of magnet materials.

Keepers or spacers may be used to separate magnets. If two magnets get stuck together, slide them apart rather than pry them.

ROBO Magnetic carefully packages neodymium magnets utilizing magnet size-appropriate processes. Small magnets are put in attractive rows and, if provided unplated, wrapped in corrosion-resistant paper before being assembled in layers of wrapped bricks. This keeps jumping and rusting at bay.

In our high-end facility, we use spacers or hard plastic. For proper storage to avoid toxicity or erroneous impact, larger magnets are stacked in attractive rows. Magnet assemblies, magnet arrays, and larger magnets are created.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our content; we hope you found it useful. If you are interested in learning more about magnets, we suggest you visit ROBO Magnetic.

ROBO Magnetic, a high-tech OEM factory that has manufactured and sold permanent magnets since 2006, offers clients high-quality rare earth permanent magnets such as neodymium magnets and other non-rare earth permanent magnets at a very affordable price.

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Article by

ROBO Magnetic Product Team

We are the manufacturer with 16 years of experience in custom neodymium magnets.

Need A Quote? Get in touch with us directly.

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