Magnet Health & Safety
Important information regarding Neodymium Magnets
Magnet Expert Ltd does not accept responsibility for damage that has been caused by the improper handling of magnets. With the purchase of these magnets, you confirm that you have read and understood the following warnings. A health and safety warning sheet is supplied with all orders, so if you are giving magnets as a gift, please be sure to include the information sheet in the package. Ensure that children under 14 are not allowed to play with magnets and children over 14 are told about the potential dangers of the magnets and supervised by an adult who has read and understood these warnings.
Danger of breaking or chipping
The most common cause of broken magnets is when two magnets are released and allowed to collide together. A combination of massive acceleration and high forces will cause one or both magnets to chip or shatter. Please do not allow this to happen and then try to return them to us as 'broken in the post'.
The chips are usually magnetically pulled back by the main magnets but it is conceivable that they may fly off at high speed into someone's eye. Eye protection is therefore advised. Chips and broken magnets are quite sharp, so cuts are possible as with broken glass.
Danger for children
Do not let children under the age of 14 play with neodymium magnets and always supervise any child playing with these magnets. If several small magnets are swallowed, they can get stuck in the intestines and cause major swelling, life-threatening injuries and need surgery to remove them. If they place them onto a television screen or computer monitor screen, permanent damage can occur as colours will become permanently distorted.
Keep larger magnets ( more than 1cm2) out of children's reach, as you would sharp knives or other dangerous materials, as fingers can be crushed between the powerful magnets.
Crushing, blood blisters and cuts
When larger magnets are brought close enough together they can have a surprising amount of power. Fingers are quickly caught between them which can cause blood blisters or cuts. Wear gloves when handling larger magnets and use caution. Practice handling smaller magnets first. Do not place these magnets up your nose or around the ears as they have soft tissue that will compress as the magnets attract through the thickness of the tissue and as the magnets get closer as a result, they exert yet more force which crushes still further etc. etc.
Magnetically sensitive items
Neodymium magnets are very much stronger than "ordinary" magnets. Keep a safe distance (200mm+) between the magnets and all objects that can be damaged by magnetism. These include mechanical watches, heart pacemakers, CRT monitors and televisions, credit cards, diskettes and other magnetically stored media such as video tapes.
The operation of heart pacemakers will be affected by the close proximity of a magnet. Magnets can set a pacemaker working in a way that is not suitable for the pacemaker user and that might affect their health. This change will stop when the magnet is removed.
Surface plating - Wearing and chipping
Magnet Expert's Neodymium Magnets are usually plated with 3 layers of protective plating. First a layer of Nickel, then a layer of Copper and then a final layer of Nickel. This plating can wear away in the course of normal use if it is sliding or impacting onto a steel surface. If the plating layers are worn away, then the magnet will be exposed to corrosion and since the magnets contain a high percentage of iron, they will rust easily. It is always better to use the magnet in a way that mechanically prevents it from ever touching the part that it is attracting. A mechanical stop which holds the magnet 0.2mm away from the attracted part will ensure a very long life of the magnet.
Cutting or drilling Neodymium Magnets
Neodymium magnets can be secured in place with adhesive or in some cases, with countersunk screws. Magnets are sintered and extremely hard and brittle. You should never attempt to cut or drill into a magnet unless using diamond tooling and coolant (as the dust from cutting is very flammable).
Our Neodymium magnets are nickel-plated. Nickel is a metal which can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Nickel allergies can be acquired through long-term contact with objects that release nickel. In most cases, these allergic reactions are triggered by nickel-containing jewellery (e.g., earrings or piercings, clips, rings or necklaces). As a precaution, avoid long-term contact with nickel-plated magnets (e.g., jewellery) and totally abstain from contact with nickel-plated materials if you already have a nickel allergy. How much or little it takes to trigger a nickel allergy is debatable (note the discussions regarding the Euro coins which contain 25% nickel).
Effects on people
Millions of people worldwide wear Neodymium magnets to promote health and well being. We have found no evidence at all of detrimental effects of Neodymium magnets on people or animals - quite the reverse!