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Why should I be so careful with neodymium magnets?

Posted by totalElement Collaborator on

They are surprisingly strong, much more powerful than most other magnets you may have handled. When you are separating and working with them, they will jump back together unexpectedly.

In fact, the greater force exerted by rare earth magnets creates hazards that are not seen with other types of ceramic or alnico magnets. Neodymium magnets that are larger than a few centimeters are strong enough to cause injuries including pinched and/or lacerated fingers. Strong magnets can even cause broken bones.

So be careful. Magnets that are allowed to get too near to each other can suddenly jump together and strike each other with enough force to chip and shatter the brittle coating material, and the flying chips can also cause injuries. This is why eye protection is essential when working with these magnets.

There have even been cases where young children who have swallowed several magnets have had a fold of the digestive tract pinched between the magnets, causing injury and in one case intestinal perforations, sepsis and death.

For more information, see our Magnet Safety and Handling Tips.

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