Warning / Safety
These magnets are unexpectedly strong for their size. They are not your typical fridge magnet. It is important to follow the suggestions below to prevent any fatal accidents.
- Neodymium magnets must not be swallowed. If more than one magnet (of any size) is swallowed, or a magnet and a piece of steel is swallowed, they can attract together across intestinal tissue, requiring surgery. If tissue is punctured, the condition can be fatal.
- Keep magnets away from young children.
- When Neodymium magnets collide together or to steel, medium and large sizes can pinch and wound skin, or cut clothing.
- In a collision, these magnets accelerate at very high speeds, and possibly shatter. Sharp chips can leap away, so eye protection is advisable.
- The large sizes, or a stack of large diameter discs, are capable of acting like a hammer, crushing fingers.
- They should be kept a sensible distance (where the pull is negligible) from credit cards, cassette tapes, pace makers, GPS, and other possibly sensitive electrical and electronic devices. The magnets can damage these - my bank cards don't work anymore..
- If working with larger magnets, see below for more tips.
Safe Handling, especially for larger magnets:
- Be aware that because they are so strong for their size, most magnets are too strong to hold apart with the fingers when they get close together. They will suddenly slip out of the fingers and crash together, possibly shattering. (Damage is far less likely if they are attached to something larger, say a cupboard door.)
- Be aware that when magnets are stacked they become stronger. Four magnets, D20 x 5mm, stacked together, have exactly the same strength as a D20 x 20mm magnet.
- To separate one magnet from others, slide them apart. For stronger ones that are difficult to slide, place them on a durable, non-metal surface eg a bench, positioned with the magnet to be separated projecting beyond the edge of the bench. Use one hand to firmly hold the row of magnets. Use the other hand to firmly hold the magnet you are separating. Push down and away from the other magnet(s) until a magnetic attraction is no longer felt. Keep a separated magnet in a firmly closed fist until it is at a safe distance from the rest.
- To avoid chipping magnets when re-stacking them, first make contact with an edge, then part of a face, then slide them together. For the largest magnets, stack them again by carrying out instruction 3 in reverse.
- When handling magnets larger than 15mm, it is recommended to wear gloves to avoid pinching the skin of the fingers.
- Separated magnets will always want to crash together, usually very suddenly without warning. Do not handle multiple magnets at the same time unless they are stacked together, or widely separated, or safe inside two closed fists.
- When placing magnets together, place a non-magnetic spacing material between them, e.g. a piece of plastic, wood or cardboard, so they are easier to separate when needed.
- Maintain a safe distance between magnets and magnetically susceptible items. Pay particular attention to scissors, knives, steel tools, and other sharp metal objects.
- Maintain a safe distance from items that may be damaged by magnets, e.g. magnetic recording devices, credit cards, electronic items, small motors, pace makers, etc. (A safe distance is where the pull to steel or another magnet would be negligible.)