Magnets danger in ipad 2

Discussion in 'Special Needs iPad Forum' started by jefkris, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. jefkris
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    jefkris iPF Noob

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    We have a 3 yr old that has a VP magnetically programmable Shunt to drain excess fluid from his brain.
    We just heard today that the our iPad 2 contains 10 magnets and any smart cover add significantly more (up to 21 more with apples smart cover).
    Our son is supposed to avoid any large magnetic fields such as MRIs or large speakers, but have been also warned that even smaller ones of 100 gauss or more can cause the shunt to malfunction.
    I am trying to determine the degree of magnetism that the iPad 2 magnets produce.
    I was on and off hold via apples express lane for 45 min, only to finally talk to a Sr advisor that informed me "this is confidential and he has been informed that apple will not release the magnetic specs". He even informed me that they've received similar calls regarding pacemakers. Pretty poor stance for a potentially serious medical risk in my opinion.
    Does anyone happen to know how powerful the iPad 2's magnets are? Thanks!
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  2. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi and welcome to the Forum!

    Sorry I don't know how strong these magnets are and apparently they are also in computers and speakers which you already know. I'm very perplexed that Apple will not release this information to you especially in this situation. I will move this thread to our help section where you will receive a better response. I really do hope you're son makes a speedy recovery, all the best!

    The IPad Forum is a community of members from all walks of life and from all over the world coming together to share our experiences and to help each other learn about this wonderful piece of technology the Ipad. There is a wealth of information already here in the many threads we have so doing some searches will answer most of the questions you have. If then you cannot find the answer you are seeking then by all means post your question. There are many friendly and informed members here only too willing to help you.

    We also have our own App - It is a very simple app to navigate.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/discussion-forum-for-ipad/id412896524?mt=8
    Reading the IPad manual is a great place to start so please download a copy of these.
    http://www.support.apple.com/manuals/ipad/
    A very informative thread from which you will learn many tips and shortcuts for the IPad.
    http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-general-discussions/21590-tips-tricks-those-us-who-dont-know.html
    We have rules like any Community so please read these also
    http://www.ipadforums.net/forum-rul...um-rules-everybody-please-read.html#post14697

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
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  3. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Just a thought for you, but how about approaching the science department of your local school, college or university and asking if they have a gauss meter. I am sure that given your circumstances they would be prepared to measure the reading from an iPad for you as the meters are relatively simple devices. If you do get an answer it would be interesting to know the results here for any others who end up in the same situation.

    Good luck.

    The Archangel
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  4. thewitt
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    thewitt iPad Ninja

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    With the life of your child dependent on this information, you should really own a portable gauss meter.

    They are not that expensive, and you will know with complete certainty the strength of any magnetic field in proximity to your child.

    You can buy one for less than the cost of an iPad... Or make one yourself for just a few dollars in parts and an inexpensive voltmeter.
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  5. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I did a little googling and came up with this http://www.lessemf.com/gauss.html

    They really are very cheap but as with everything, it's not so much the device but the reading and understanding of the results that is the most important.

    I'm guessing here but I would assume that the magnets used to hold a refrigerator door closed are way stronger than those used in a smart cover.......but then a meter would tell you if that is the case.

    The Archangel
  6. thewitt
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    thewitt iPad Ninja

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    Magnets are in many places we never think about. I would definitely want to know exactly what I'm dealing with in this s enviro. No guessing. A child's life is at stake...
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  7. jefkris
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    jefkris iPF Noob

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    Agee and most likely will after this episode. While magnets can be dangerous, there's typically no need to measure because there aren't that many magnetic devices that he gets close enough to for an extended period to worry about. He LOVES the iPad and we have a bunch of educational apps for him, so this wld be the 1st real danger of proximity and time spent.
  8. HydroMama
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    HydroMama iPF Noob

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    Hello all! I am so impressed that this subject is posted! On my Facebook page the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Association, Apple, and Medtronic explains more. Here is an excerpt, "A sample iPad 2 was evaluated for magnetic strength. The left front edge of the iPad 2 was found to have a magnetic strength of 306 Gauss and the rear speaker measured 456 Gauss. The Strata family of valves is designed to be adjusted with a permanent magnet of at least 90 Gauss, directly against the valve. This indicates that the iPad 2 has the potential to affect the Strata Valve setting if the areas having the above measured fields are placed directly adjacent to the implant location of the Strata Valve. Inadvertent adjustments by external magnets are a known complication with adjustable valves. Therefore, the same precautions that are applied to all magnets should also be applied to the iPad 2."
  9. shuntdoc
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    shuntdoc iPF Noob

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    I have been reading this thread, as this question has come up a few times already this week. I am a pediatric neurosurgeon in the Midwest, in a four surgeon practice. We have implanted hundreds of valves, and the programmable ones are mainly Strata valves (from Medtronic) and Medos valves (Codman). We also have a small number of Certus and ProGAV valves implanted.

    The key issue in this discussion is that although there are indeed small magnetic fields generated by a variety of electronic devices, the field strength is low and falls off rapidly as you move away from the source. It falls off according to an inverse-square law, meaning that if you double your distance from the source you have only 1/4 of the field strength at play etc. So although there might be a measured field strength right at the loudspeaker that seems high enough to possibly reset the valve, it is only if the valve is in direct contact with the speaker. As soon as you move away it becomes a non-issue.

    I checked with both Medtronic and Codman sources and they said that staying a couple of inches away is likely enough to be safe. We are going to be contacting a couple of nearby schools which are circulating memos stating that a 4 foot distance needs to be maintained, which is simply not necessary. Let the child use the iPad, just don't balance it on the shunt.

    The same goes for all other household magnets (the one on your refrigerator door seal, the ones on the outside of your refrigerator, the Magna Doodle, the cell phone, etc). Only an MRI has a giant enough magnet in it to have an effect at a distance.

    Lastly, the Certus and ProGAV valves are really hard to reset without a much larger magnet, so it is even less of an issue.

    Thanks for letting me post.

    the same caut
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  10. michali
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    michali iPad Enthusiast

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    I think this kind of post and responses just show how wonderful this forum is! If there is any doubt as to the safety of the ipad2 for your little boy, is it possible to get an ipad 1? Are they still in existence for purchase, I wonder?
  11. shuntengineer
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    shuntengineer iPF Noob

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    This is a very important, critical point, distance is a huge factor that gets overlooked. The field falls off exponentially with distance so doubling the distance from a magnet will result in a 10X reduction in field strength. Even the fields of very strong permanent magnets drop off to basically background environmental levels when measured at a few centimeters distance. This is the case for the iPad 2 as well. If you measure a magnet, starting at the surface and taking several point distant measurements and then plot the strength data on a log scale with the distance remaining on an arithmetic scale, you will get a pretty straight line.
  12. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    If I had any doubts about the authenticity of your member name, that pretty much dispelled it. :D
  13. shuntengineer
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    shuntengineer iPF Noob

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    This is too important a subject to be spoofing anything. My purpose in joining is much like shuntdoc I suspect, in attempting to put into perspective something that has needlessly generated some level of hysteria. As mentioned above, some awareness and minimal precautions should be observed, but the iPad 2 does not represent a new or different hazard to those already common in the every day environment.
  14. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    I'm sorry if you felt I was making light of the subject. I was trying to point out, with some humor, that you need to consider your audience. I doubt more than a handful of the people who read your post know how to layout the graph you described; and if they can't actually see or visualize it, it won't illustrate your point.

    That, and I suffer under the all too common delusion that I'm funny. ;)
  15. shuntengineer
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    shuntengineer iPF Noob

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    No worries, I was trying to reassure you that I was not impersonating anyone. The take away is not to place iPad 2s or anything else containing magnets directly against an implanted magnetically adjustable shunt valve.
  16. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Good. I really do try (most of the time) not to be offensive.

    By the way, now that you have three posts you could actually attach/post an example graph, if you feel it will help.

    Thanks for coming by and contributing. It's always good to meet (even virtually) people who care.
  17. shuntengineer
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    shuntengineer iPF Noob

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    ^^^^
    We are working on an official release, I have to be careful about reviews before posting internally generated data publically. So trying to explain best I can with words. Interestingly, we get feedback that folks can't understand graphically presented data either!

    Here's a good review, scrolling down you can see the shape of the field curve with distance. The data is presented in millitesla. For reference 10,000 Gauss = 1 Tesla

    http://homepage.mac.com/cbakken/weblabs/magfieldstr.pdf
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  18. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Sadly, I'm not surprised. Though choosing the right graph probably helps. For your purposes I think something as simple as an actual-size line with the half power points plotted by distance (the danger zone in red). Do it for half a dozen common magnets (with a few untypical for comparison).

    And I understand about official releases. The only thing worse than no information is the wrong information; especially in your field.
  19. shuntengineer
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    shuntengineer iPF Noob

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    Trouble is there is no single right graph in my experience, what's clear to one person totally baffles the next. We do the best we can.
  20. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you Shuntengineer for bringing your expertise on this subject. Very nice of you!
    And to you Twerppoet for your wonderful sense of humor. :)

    Sent from my iPad using iPF

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