J.B. Stothers NMR Facility
Department of Chemistry
Western University
London, Ontario, Canada
NMR Safety
Danger from Strong Magnetic Fields

The magnets housed in the NMR facility have magnetic field strengths of 9.4 Tesla and 14.1 Tesla, approximately 2000 times the strength of typical fridge magnet.  To avoid damaging the equipment, injury and possible death, the following safety rules must be followed: 
  1. People with medical implants should check with facility personnel before entering the NMR Facility.  Persons with pacemakers should NEVER enter the NMR facility.
  2. All magnetic objects should be kept no closer than the spectrometer’s computer table.  Assume any piece of metal is magnetic until proven otherwise.  If an object becomes stuck to a magnet, do NOT attempt to remove the object.  Please contact NMR staff.
  3. Although not a safety issue, the magnetic fields will possibly damage wristwatches and will erase magnetic media as found on credit cards, media players, etc.  All electronic devices and watches should be kept no closer than the spectrometer’s computer table.  

Danger of, and from, a Magnet Quench

If a magnetic material is brought within 5 feet of the magnet, it may be drawn to the magnet with great force, possibly causing the magnet to quench.  A magnet quench releases hundreds of litres of nitrogen and helium into the air that could potentially result in asphyxiation.  If a quench occurs, evacuate the room immediately. 

In Case of Fire

In case of fire, the alarm near the entrance doors will flash and the siren will sound.  The evacuation route depends on the where the fire resides:

  1. Fire alarm in MSA only: Turn right as you exit the NMR facility and go straight into the chemistry building.
  2. Fire alarm in MSA and ChB:  Turn left as you exit the NMR facility and go straight all the way to the stairwell.  Go down the stairs to the lower ground floor and the exit will be on your left.

In Case of Medical Emergency

In case of medical emergency, use the phone in the NMR facility to call 911.