Safety Advisory Notice from the United States Department of Transportation & PHMSA
In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers related to shipping lithium batteries for recycling or disposal, the US Department of Transportation has issued a Safety Advisory Notice.
Lithium batteries (including both lithium metal & lithium-ion batteries) can cause a fire. This happens regardless of whether the battery is new, used, defective, or damaged. Additionally, it is important to note that there are extra precautions a shipper must take when shipping damaged, defective or recalled batteries.
PHMSA’s Recent Compliance Inspections
PHMSA’s hazmat investigators have recently seen shippers and carriers improperly package and ship lithium batteries for disposal or recycling. The packaging used did not meet the regulations necessary to prevent:
- Short Circuits
- Mixing Damaged Lithium Batteries with Non-Damaged Batteries
- Pallet Loads of Batteries in Boxes & Drums with Inappropriate Identification of the Packages’ Contents
Consumer Packaging of Used, Damaged, Defective, or Recalled Lithium Batteries
Consumers with used lithium batteries should take them to recycling centers or household hazardous waste collection points. Lithium batteries should NOT be disposed of in household garbage or recycling bins.
In the event of a product recall involving a lithium battery, the consumer should follow the manufacturer’s disposal instructions and be aware of any warnings listed.
How are Lithium Batteries Properly Packed for Disposal or Recycling?
Shippers must package any lithium battery shipped for disposal or recycling in a manner that prevents short-circuiting and damage to the battery or its terminals in transportation [see § 173.185(b)]. This may be achieved by packing each battery in a fully enclosed inner packaging made of electrically non-conductive material and separating the batteries from each other and other electrically conductive material within the same package as well as, be packaged in a manner to prevent damage caused by shifting or placement of the batteries in the package.
Comments are closed