Is wearing a magnet bad for you?
Magnets give off a strong magnetic field, making them suitable for modern technological applications, and in modern health and medicine. Neodymium magnets are a class of strong magnets with diverse grades and fitting for several purposes. Outside their use in complex industrial procedures, magnets are also used in the production of household items, including refrigerators, wristwatches, speakers, headsets, etc. But, are these magnetic items safe for wearing or using? This article explores the safety of owning these items and reviews the industrial application of magnets.
Could we wear magnets?
Are magnets dangerous for humans? Possibly not. Despite the strength of their magnetic fields, magnets pose zero harm based solely on the emitted field strength. The magnetic field is a powerful property for determining the functionality of a magnet, but it’s invisible to the human eye. Likewise, unlike radiation which may harm an individual on extended exposure, magnetic field lines do not directly harm an individual.
Do magnets, as items, hold risks? The weight of some magnets may cause physical damage. High-grade Neodymium magnets, if dropped on a body part, can shatter the bones and cause long-term injuries. Likewise, should a child swallow, by mistake, two or more magnets, they would cause intestinal perforation as they pull at one another within the intestine of the child. This would result in extended bleeding and may be life-threatening.
Given that most individuals don’t swallow magnets or fling magnets around the house, the bigger concern lies with magnetic materials, general household items with magnets in their components. Is it safe to wear a magnetic bracelet? Should you keep your wristwatch on at all times?
Wearing a watch in proximity to a magnetic field (or a magnet) can tinker with the settings of your watch, resulting in a lag in the time being recorded. You can easily fix this by temporarily demagnetizing your magnet until you’re in a neutral environment. Like watches, bracelets, headphones, hair dryers, and mobile phones are all safe for usage. The tendency of risk increases if you have an electronically implanted device – defibrillators, insulin pumps, or pacemakers – in your body. The field lines of strong magnetic bracelets may interfere with the electronic configuration of your implants.
Magnets are perceived to be highly beneficial for therapy purposes. In magnetic therapy, weaker magnets are used to treat regions of body pain, as the intensity emitted from these magnets enhances blood flow. However, no proven long-term results correspond to the use of magnets. Before proceeding with magnet therapy, or any other form of alternative medicine, you should consult with your physician to ascertain that there are no risks involved.
Magnets are used in different health sectors for diagnosis, treatment, and therapy. While these processes may involve risks or even accidents, there are no particular concerns regarding the use of magnets.
Roles of magnets in Health
Neodymium magnets are used in making magnetic separators and filters for industrial applications, and for making jewelry chips and identification badges (which makes them receptive to scanning). In the health sector, magnets are pivotal to magnetic resonance imaging, a technique used for diagnosing and treating arthritis, migraine, and chronic pain, given that they can generate static magnetic fields. Magnets have also been used to treat colon tumors, though the results obtained did not provide a tangible argument for the effectiveness of magnets.
Magnet therapy is a well-known alternative medicine procedure that relies on magnets. Here, individuals wear magnetic bracelets, bands, and insoles to relieve pain.
Magnet therapy became a popular phenomenon in the latter years of the twentieth century. Historically, magnets were believed to be “living” things, as they emitted strong energy levels foreign to many other materials. With the advancement in technology, this hypothesis was found to be false, and the relevance of magnets in health or healing dwindled. The realization that magnets had healing benefits kickstarted the concept of magnet therapy.
The resurgence owes to research by Albert Roy Davis, who investigated the effects of electronic charges on the health and body and claimed that medical therapy could be vital for healing arthritis, malignant cells, tissues, etc. But this research has been disproven and the results declared inconclusive due to substantial results. Magnetic therapy simply doesn’t guarantee the cure of an ailment or disease.
Some magnets may be fitting for healing purposes. This must be done on the recommendation of a trained physician. Should you jump on a magnet advertised as potent for pain relief, without consulting with your doctor? No.
A study performed on a group of over 100 individuals subjected to magnetic therapy showed that about 15% of these individuals reported negative effects of using these magnets, including a copper-like taste on their tongue. There were no significant improvements or differences between those who wore magnets and another group of individuals having similar symptoms but treated without magnets.
What if you have used magnetic bracelets? Pain-relieving magnets are made from metals and emit only a fraction of the magnetic force of MRI machines. They are generally safe when worn.
Could we wear magnetic jewelry?
Most magnetic jewelry is worn for its supposed therapeutic effects. While this is similar to magnetic therapy, magnetic jewelry is limited, while magnetic therapy involves magnets, bands, and any other advertised items.
Pieces of jewelry are a great way to keep magnets close to your skin, as they provide both adornment and healing benefits. They can also be used to complement a prescription, or by individuals worried about the side effects of specific pharmaceutical treatments such as nausea and fatigue.
There are no pronounced dangers for people who want to use magnets as an alternative approach to relieving pain. Once you have ascertained that you do not have implants that may cause interference, and you’ve been cleared by your doctor, you can purchase magnetic jewelry for temporary relief. Magnetic jewelry should only be used to relieve pain before permanent treatment compliant with modern medical methods.
Everyday usage of magnets
Magnets are found in a lot of devices. You probably handle more magnets than you can imagine, especially since not all magnets have a fixed size. Magnets are integrated into appliances and devices where they perform their designated function silently.
The hard drive of a computer uses magnets to store and preserve data. The magnets alter the direction of magnetic material in the hard drive, dividing it into tiny subsections that store up different pieces of information. If you need to corrupt a hard drive, in-built or external, simply bring it against a demagnetizing panel. The speakers in computers combine the functions of wire coils and magnets to convert electrical energy to vibrations.
In The Kitchen
Magnets hold bottle openers and other small items to a fridge. The opening mechanism of a fridge’s door is sponsored by magnets, which makes the door easy to open from the outside. Microwaves use diode tubes with magnetic properties to generate electromagnetic waves which produce heat.
In The Home
Pick up a credit card and spot a magnetic strip on the backside. If this strip is erased or altered, the data contained on the credit card is lost. A doorbell emits sounds based on the number of magnets in it. The doorbell also contains solenoids that drive the piston as the magnet passes under the piston when you push the bell.
In bedrooms, magnets are used to make some duvets to keep them closed. Handbags also use magnets to facilitate bag clasps. You’ll find magnetic properties or principles in vacuum cleaners, washing machines, belts, blenders, and televisions.
In the office
Cabinet drawers with magnetic features are more effective than normal drawers as they prevent accidental opening and closing. Magnets can be used to pin papers, thumbtacks, and other simple office items for easy reach.
In Health and Medicine
As established, MRI machines are built with magnets. The strength of an MRI magnet is 1000 times more than that of a kitchen magnet. Hence, experts trained in the use of these machines conduct magnetic resonance scans.
As we experience advancements in technology and science, many industrial processes and general appliances will rely on electromagnetic methods of generating power. Already, renewable energies have become widespread, despite their dependence on rare earth elements.
Concerns about safety in using magnets or magnetic materials may not dwindle. If you work in an industry that works with magnets, adhere to the safety guidelines peculiar to your industry. Considering alternative therapy? Seek the counsel of an expert before proceeding with your treatment. At home, keep magnets away from children, and avoid working with high-grade magnets except you are trained to do so.
Interested in learning more about purchasing magnets? Contact us for expert guidance. We are excited to help you make the right choices.