Rare earth magnets are used by metal detectorists for a variety of purposes. Often we will fasten one to the end of our detector picks, shovels and other digging tools to help separate any iron that may be interfering with a signal in a plug we dig. I have even fastened several of them together on a rake to remove iron scrap pieces from large areas before metal detecting. Most frequently they are used for meteorite hunting. Since a great deal of meteorites contain iron (sometimes in low percentages) these super strong magnets are really good for helping someone determine if an unusual rock may be a meteorite.
Although a useful tool, these magnets can be very, very, dangerous. They come in all different sizes. From only a few millimeters in diameter up to several inches. We only keep one at a time on display in the shop. Children are prohibited from getting near them and even adults are warned not to play with them. I tell them that by picking up the magnet they are effectively holding a loaded gun - and I am dead serious. One time we got two 450lb magnets stuck together and it took two vehicles, back to back, to separate them.
It is vital to understand how important it is to exercise safety when using strong magnets. This includes having two strong magnets near one another. If two 50 lb magnets get stuck together you have over 100lbs of force to deal with (frankly I think there is some exponential multiplier, but I am not smart enough to discuss that). When pulling them apart, it is not like you can simply pull them apart. You have to get them separate and then KEEP them that way. This is a great way to lose a fingertip.
Before you purchase any super strong rare earth magnet, read the warnings below:
Important Safety Warning!
Read Before You Order and Use the Magnets
Disclaimer: High Plains Prospectors neither assumes nor accepts any liability for damages resulting from the handling or use of magnets. With your purchase, the buyer confirms that you have read and understood the following warnings, the buyer agrees that he/she is responsible for all damages and injuries caused by the magnets, which include personal injuries , property damages and magnet damages. The buyer must agree with the terms before purchase. Pull forces we provide are estimates only and we are not responsible for any inaccuracy of magnet pull force. Please test the pull force before any usage.
Neodymium magnets we sell are very strong. Handling them with care is necessary to prevent personal injuries, property damages and magnet damages.
Magnets the size of a 2 inch cube or larger can cause serious damage to fingers if caught between 2 magnets such as breaking bones or losing finger tips.
SMALL MAGNET WARNING NOTICE:
Small magnets pose a choking hazard and should never be swallowed or inserted into any part of the body. For safety purposes we include this warning to deter children from using/handling small magnets as they can be dangerous. Small magnets are considered a choking hazard that can result in death and should be treated as such. When confirming your order you the customer become fully responsible for the safety of children, animals and anyone else to come into contact with these magnets. Below is a diagram resembling the (Small Parts Cylinder) described in 16 CFR 1501.4 - Size requirements and test procedure. Please use this diagram to distinguish which magnets used would be classified as a (Small Magnet).
For more information, see the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s News Release and Magnets Information Center webpages linked below.
(a) 16 CFR Part 1240 - http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&SID=271341d1457a4e3afc811d9609e87ac0&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&r=PART&n=pt16.2.1240
(b) News Release - http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2014/CPSC-Approves-Strong-Federal-Safety-Standard-for-High-Powered-Magnet-Sets-to-Protect-Children-and-Teenagers/
(c) Magnets Information Center - http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Magnets
|Office of Communications||Washington, D.C.|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2011
|CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908|
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An increasing number of incident reports to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicate that high-powered magnets continue to be a safety risk to children. From toddlers to teens, children are swallowing these magnets and the consequences are severe.
Although the risk scenarios differ by age group, the danger is the same. When two or more magnets are swallowed, they can attract one another internally, resulting in serious injuries, such as small holes in the stomach and intestines, intestinal blockage, blood poisoning and even death.
Reports of incidents involving these high-powered ball-bearing magnets have increased since 2009. Specifically, CPSC received one incident report in 2009, seven in 2010 and 14 through October 2011. These 22 incidents have involved children ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years old. Of the reported incidents, 17 involved magnet ingestion and 11 required surgical removal of the magnets. When a magnet has to be removed surgically, it often requires the repair of the child's damaged stomach and intestines.
"We want parents to be aware of the danger associated with these innocent looking magnets," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "The potential for serious injury and death if multiple magnets are swallowed demands that parents and medical professionals be aware of this hidden hazard and know how to treat a child in distress."
High-powered magnets and magnet components that are of a size that can be swallowed are prohibited in toys for children younger than age 14. The reported incidents involve magnets that are marketed as desk toys and stress relievers for adults who use the magnets to create patterns and build shapes. Often, they are sold in sets of 200 or more magnets in stationery, office supply and gift stores, and also on the Internet.
CPSC has received reports of toddlers finding loose pieces of magnets or magnets left within reach. It can be extremely difficult for a parent to tell if any of the tiny magnets are missing from a set. In some of the reported incidents, toddlers have accessed loose magnets left on a table, refrigerator, sofa or the floor.
With tweens and teenagers, how the product is being used has resulted in magnets being unintentionally inhaled and swallowed. CPSC is also aware of instances where the magnets were swallowed intentionally. To mimic body piercings, the older children are placing two or more magnets on opposite sides of their ear lobes, tongue and nose.
"We sell our magnetic desk toy product, Nanospheres,® on Amazon.com for adults only. As the Amazon product description and warning labels on the product itself state, these products are hazardous if ingested and are not appropriate for young children," said Dan Taggert, CEO of Kringles Toys and Gifts, manufacturer of Nanospheres.®
"High-powered magnets, such as Buckyballs,® are products for adult use only and should be kept away from all children," said Craig Zucker, CEO of Maxfield and Oberton, the manufacturer of Buckyballs.
CPSC, Kringles Toys and Gifts and Maxfield and Oberton are urging consumers who have purchased magnet sets for children younger than 14 years of age (or households with children under 14 years of age) to remove access to the sets by children immediately and contact the firms for a refund.
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Although this is CPSC's first product wide public warning about high-powered ball-bearing magnets used in adult products, the agency has issued safety alerts previously about the dangers of powerful magnets falling out of children's toys. In April 2007, CPSC issued a warning about the possibility of high-powered magnets detaching from children's toys, such as building sets, causing injuries and death. At that time, CPSC was aware of the death of a 20-month-old child and of 33 incidents involving children who had swallowed magnets. Of these 33 incidents, 19 children required surgery to remove the magnets. Since 2008, CPSC has received more than 200 reports of children swallowing magnets and at least 18 of those children required emergency surgery to remove the magnets.
In an effort to reduce the incidents associated with magnets, CPSC staff worked with the toy industry and other stakeholders to develop a standard to prevent magnets from detaching from toys. As of 2008, this standard is mandatory, and it prohibits magnets and magnet components that are loose and of a size that could be swallowed to be in toys for children under 14 years of age.
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Based on the number of incidents involving young children accessing magnets intended for adults, as well as the growing number of teenagers misusing the product, CPSC again has been prompted to launch a magnet awareness campaign. This multipronged initiative includes a grassroots effort with public safety partners, public service videos targeted for parents and teenagers, along with social media outreach. CPSC is warning parents and medical professionals about the extreme danger facing children who swallow multiple magnets.
CPSC offers the following tips to avoid magnet ingestion injuries and advice on what to do if you suspect that your child has swallowed magnets: