Magnets and pacemakers

This weekend I sold a necklace with a very strong magnetic clasp. I
told the purchaser that it shouldn’t be worn by anyone with a
pacemaker. Then she asked me a question I couldn’t answer, “What if
I hug someone with a pacemaker when I’m wearing the necklace?” Do
any of you know the answer?

All I know is that I stay away from magnets period. I am on my third
pacemaker with the average life span of one for me is 5 years instead
of 20. I at one time used magnets (not really heavy duty) in another
job and that did in my first pacemaker. You have to pass through weak
magnets when you go in and out of certain stores (I know I set them
off all the time) and they do take some of the power out of them. So
I would imagine a warning to your customers that if they are going to
hug a person with a pacemaker that they may be taking a bit of the
juice each second the hug lasts. I only know what happens to me,
there are different pacemakers in this world. So some may act
differently. I have to have a wand passed over me at the airports as
I am not allowed to do the walk through scanner.


What if I hug someone with a pacemaker when I'm wearing the
necklace?" Do any of you know the answer? 

Medtronics (a pacemaker manufacturer) says that as long as the
magnet is kept 6 inches or more away from the pacemaker it is okay.
Here is a link for the unformation:


I’ve had a pacemaker for over three years. Getting a hug from someone
with a magnetic clasp should have no effect since the clasp would not
be strong enough nor close enough to the device to do anything. In
any event the only effect a magnet has is to speed the heartrate to a
hundred beats. At least that is what my doctor told me.

Jerry in Kodiak

There should be no problem if someone wearing a necklace with a
magnetic clasp were to hug someone with an implanted placemaker or
defibrillator so long as the clasp of the necklace is not in the
front of the wearer where it would directly contact the device.

This topic keeps coming up from time to time. This time I decided to
go directly to the source for an answer. I called patient services
at Medtronic, one of the largest manufacturers of pacemakers and
implanted defibrillation devices. According to the woman with whom I
spoke, the safe distance for almost any magnet is six inches away
from the device. She said the small magnet in a necklace is okay so
long as a long chain does not slip around to the front and lay next
to the device. And she also recommended not sleeping with a necklace
having a magnetic clasp. Same with a bracelet with a magnetic clasp.
Just keep it 6 inches away from the device. The official info from
Medtronic is found at