of Rare-Earth Magnets
products should be handled with care. These magnets are very powerful
and can accelerate a great speeds toward each other and toward ferrous
material. When these magnets come together quickly, they can
shatter and break sending particles at high speed. These magnets
can also pinch strongly if allowed to come together against the
skin. You should always wear gloves and eye protection when
handling strong rare-earth magnets.
Handling of the
Material Used in the Production of Rare-Earth Magnets
||Elemental boron and the borates
are not considered to be toxic, and they do not require special
care in handling. However, some of the more exotic boron
hydrogen compounds are definitely toxic and do require care.
||Exposure to cobalt (metal fumes
and dust) should be limited to 0.05 mg/m3
(8-hour time-weighted average 40-hour week).
||Iron is a common material that is
found in abundant quantities in the environment and in the human
||Neodymium has a low-to-moderate
acute toxic rating. As with other rare earths, neodymium should
be handled with care.
||Little is known of the toxicity of
samarium; therefore, it should be handled carefully.
Source: Los Alamos
Respiratory protection should be employed
when dealing with any airborne particulates of any of these materials.
Children should not be
allowed to play with strong rare-earth magnets or the materials used in
pacemakers or internal medical devices should not handle strong
rare-earth magnets magnets. Studies have shown that magnetic fields can affect the
operation of these devices. Strong rare-earth magnets should be
kept at a safe distance from individuals with these devices.
National Imports LLC is not aware of any positive
or negative health effects from handling rare-earth magnets. We
however recommend that pregnant women not handle very strong rare-earth
as a precaution.
John E. Moulder,
Ph.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin has produced a comprehensive overview
of the heath effects of static magnetic fields that we encourage our
customers to read. This article is referenced by the World Health
Organization as information for the general public on static magnetic
fields. The article can be found here.
Additional Sources of Information
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the
Federal agency responsible for conducting research and making
recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease and injury.
The Institute is part of the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NIOSH
research on protecting workers from proven and possible EMF health risks
can be found here.
Health Organization (WHO) initiated the International
Electormagnetic Fields (EMF) Project in 1996 to collect
information of the health effects of electromagnetic fields.