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Dr Rice and colleagues (March 2005 JRSM1) describe an incident in which two 'rare earth magnets' became attached to the penis of an unfortunate juvenile and proved very difficult to remove. These magnets are sold in Canada (Lee Valley) with not only a warning concerning their use and storage but also a clear description of how to separate two or more such magnets by, as the authors eventually discovered, the use of a shearing force. The package insert suggests a piece of wood with a hole a little larger than the magnet held under one magnet, while a shearing force with another piece of wood is used to push the uppermost magnet away. The insert warns that the magnets may, if applied to the skin, 'raise a blood blister if you don't control them well'. As far as I am aware, no Canadian Provincial Health Department is recommending the application of magnets to any part of the human frame for any reason!