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MRI for metal workers

Does anyone have info about doing an MRI if you are a jewelry/metal
worker? I was wondering if we need to have our eyes flushed in case
there is a trace of metal. Just looking at the dust on my bench,
clothes and face, I wonder if some of this is in my eyes and I am
not aware of it. I would think an MRI could really damage your eyes
if there was a presence of metal.



I don’t know much about this MRI but I do know that my two Eyes are
the only one I have. I need them everyday and everywhere. I keep
them in the best condition I can, even now where my age is reporting
that I’m not this young anymore laugh Anyway, If you feel your eyes
are important enough, then go ahead and give them this special tread,
I’m serious abot this matter !!

Something else to consider is the amount of dust you have in your
workshop regarding the condition of your lungs. To my opinion, dust
ist much a biger hazard then a little piece of metal in your eyes.
Just imagion howmuch dust is produced by a buffing procedure, even
if you have a dust collector ! I never proved it by hard facts but
howmuch little dust particles are leaving a dust collector which are
to small to be captivated in a filter?

Anyway, everybody needs to take care for his own health and savety.
I know that I’m not leaving this world one minut to early and others
can run into my shop without inhealing dust or other fumes and
gasses. I believe that this is a good way of dealing with my life and
ohters aswell.

Better save then sorry

Best regards

I think you should ask the person sending you for the scan :wink: If you
are working with non-ferrous materials it shouldn;t be an issue -
silver/gold/copper are non magnetic, and should not cause problems.


Does anyone have info about doing an MRI if you are a
jewelry/metal worker? 

You only have to worry about ferrous metals that are attracted to
magnets. Non-ferrous and precious metals are not a problem. Welders,
machinists and mechanics have to get their eyes X-rayed before an
MRI. The magnets used by an MRI are very, very strong. If you or
your doctor are in any doubt, getting an eye X-ray is simple and
relatively inexpensive (compared to what you pay for an MRI) and
will be cheaper in the long run if there is a problem with magnetic


I had an MRI done a couple of years ago. I told my doctor what I do
and heordered an Xray before the MRI to make sure there was no metal
in my eyes. There wasn’t but if theere had been my assumption is the
Dr. would tell you what to do. But in general my understanding is
metal, especially ferrous metals, in your eyes during an MRI is a big
NO since the machine is one big magnet. The direct path of removal
would not be pleasant to say the least.

Hope this helps
Rae Mearkle

Irene- I have had several MRIs and I have had no problem. I’m often
covered with metal shavings. I have some noticeable metal slivers
permanently embedded in my hands. I also have a full body tattoo and
that has been no problem at all. There had been some speculation that
the metal oxides that give color to tattoo ink will be a problem in
MRIs as well. The guys on Mythbusters busted that urban myth a while
back. I’m no rocket scientist but I’m guessing that metals in your
system would only be an issue if you’re working with ferrous metals.


I would think an MRI could really damage your eyes if there was a
presence of metal. 

I would think that most precious metals: gold, sterling, fine
silver, aluminum, titanium would not be attracted to a magnet. The
only time I would worry is if there is iron involved in the creation
of jewelry. I’m not sure about Stainless Steel.

An x-ray prior to the MRI is usually recommended. I had to ask for
the x-ray when I had to have an MRI a couple years ago–the
radiologists didn’t think of it when I told them I work with metal.
soon as I asked for the x-ray they started nodding and saying, “Oh,
yes, that’s right…”

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry

So simply get a bottle of sterile eyewash and use it daily as part of
your clean up routine.Most druggist sell them for about 2 bucks per
4oz. bottles…not the same as contact lens cleaner solutions though-
a bit more buffering agent is in the eyewash, and it’s got a bit of
boric acid in it as well (most brands)… If you like I have some
Bausch &Lomb eyewash stations that are lime green and mount on the
wall and hold a 32 oz bottle of sterile solution that has a directing
hose, if you can call it that-( more a thin tube that is directable-)
anyway, they go for $32.00 plus shipping to your location…I keep one
in the studio and one in the chemical storage room…I’m not trying to
sell anyone anything, as there are alternatives…I just happen to
have them to sell on my ecommerce venture…rer

The radiology facility will ask many questions before doing the MRI.
One of those questions is whether you work with metal or could have
metal in your eyes. If so, you will likely have a CT scan of your
eyes prior to the MRI. CT will show the metal.


Just having had a couple of MRI’s, I was required to let them know
if there was a possibility of metal fragments in my eyes. They were
aware that I do file, saw, grind silver, but accepted my word that I
have not have any get into my eyes.

Anxiously awaiting the reading of those MRI’s, I am,


I had an MRI done a couple of years ago. I told the technician that I
worked with metal and had some concerns about the possibility of
there being bits in my eyes (the MRI was for my shoulders and up).
She had me go have x-rays done to make sure there wasn’t anything
that would be a problem, which ended up being nothing, so I had the
MRI done without a problem. Definitely make sure they do an x-ray to
make sure you don’t have anything in your eyes first. The technician
said this was standard procedure for someone who worked in a factory
with metal, which of course isn’t what I do, but the closest to it
that she had dealt with before.


I had an MRI last year and when I told them I was a goldsmith they
wanted to x-ray my eyes before the MRI, just to be sure they were
clear of any metal. All was well, had the MRI, hated the tiny little
space. I’m not usually claustrophobic, but it was all I could do not
to hit the abort button.


Hi Gang,

Along with the ferrous metals, jewelers should be aware that cobalt
is also magnetic. It’s used in some platinum alloys.


Lots of comments on non ferrous metals being not magnetic or not
attracted to magnets. Well this is not really the case there are
several types of magnetism most of you are referring to
ferromagnetism but there is also paramagnetism and diamagnetism. Many
things we don’t think of as being magnetic or being affected by
magnets do in fact have magnetic properties. For a rather strange but
enlightening object example go to

to see a movie of a live frog being magnetically levitated in a very
powerful magnetic field. Because living creatures have diamagnetic
properties this is possible.

But strange science aside don’t assume that because the metal we
work with is not ferrous that it will not react to the magnetic field
in a MRI, always tell the Doctor you work with metal and there is a
chance that you have metal particles in your body especially your
eyes. Better safe than sorry


James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


I would think that most precious metals: gold, sterling, fine
silver, aluminum, titanium would not be attracted to a magnet. The
only time I would worry is if there is iron involved in the
creation of jewelry. I'm not sure about Stainless Steel. 

I worked with GE Medical Systems (now GE Health Care) setting up the
standards for their tech service padlocks…They use these
worldwide…all brass…

Te safety folk told me stories of MRI units being serviced being
fired up for testing…And wrenches, padlocks, lunchbuckets, etc.,
flying across a room, letting nothing interrupt their path…

I haven’t been involved with tool standards per se, but have sold
AMPCO and BERYLCO metal stuff to them in the past, and I knew that
was going to MRI folk…

Those are big honking magnets, and the issue is with items

In the matter of stainless…some of it is magnetic, some is not…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)

MRI = Magnetic Resonance Imaging

As long as the metals that you are working with are non-ferrous…
You should have no problems or complications from an MRI. I hope
this answers your query.


I'm not sure about Stainless Steel. 

Stainless steel is still steel and contains iron. It is magnetic,
but less so than steel.


A further comment about metals being magnetically attracted or not.
Whilst metals like copper silver & gold can’t be picked up by a
STEADY magnetic field, if the magnetic field is fluctuating then it
will induce an electric current in any conductive material. An
electric field has an associated magnetic field to it so this can be

There are huge electromagnets that use this effect to pick up scrap
aluminium, copper etc. In fact a simple version used for a science
trick is a normal electromagnet with a copper or brass washer on the
end. When the electromagnet is fed DC like normally done then it
picks up ferrous items, but when fed AC then it acts as a
transformer, induces the electric current in conductive materials &
will pick up copper, silver, aluminium etc. If the conductive ring
is hidden then it sure causes people to stare.

MRIs use huge magnetic fields so just the turning on & off of the
field can cause the induced voltage effects.



I had an MRI about 3 years ago. They asked first if I had been
working with metal… since I had, they Xrayed my eyes to check for
metal particles.

Yes, having the wrong kind of metal in your eyes while getting the
MRI does would be a Bad Bad Thing.

I would check with the doctor.

Vancouver, BC, Canada