MARCH 11, 2008
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is participating in voluntary standard activities involving batteries in consumer products, including the development of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1725, Draft Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Mobile Telephones.
The CPSC staff has received consumer complaints and manufacturer and retailer reports involving hazards associated with batteries and battery chargers. Potential hazards include overheating, fire, electrical shock from battery chargers, thermal burns, exposure to alkaline battery electrolytes, or high-velocity ejected internal components of batteries. Incidents have been reported with the battery while the product is in use, during storage and during battery charging. There have been a number of recalls involving lithium-ion batteries/battery packs/battery chargers for use in cellular telephones, portable computing products, and other personal electronic products. There have also been a number of recalls involving other technology batteries used in products such as battery-powered ride-on toys and portable battery-powered tools.
The use of batteries in consumer products continues to grow exponentially. With the proliferation of batteries and the miniaturization of portable products, manufacturers have sought to increase battery operating times while reducing size and weight. This has led to the increased implementation of battery chemistries that pack higher energy in smaller packages. High energy chemistry batteries include lithium ion and lithium metal polymer that are thinner, smaller, and lighter weight and contain more energy than traditional rechargeable batteries. While conventional battery chemistries, such as lead acid, pose fire and explosion hazards that must be considered, the combination of high energy packed into a small volume and a volatile chemistry requires special safeguards to minimize potential hazards. Batteries with larger capacities often need more safety circuits and additional care when using and handling, with or without the equipment; and batteries must be properly tested with the product and charger as a system.
- Consumer Alert: Fire Hazard with Remote-Controlled Helicopters and Airplanes
- CPSC Releases Tips on Notebook Computer Use
- Cell Phone Batteries: CPSC, CTIA Working Together to Keep Consumers Safe
Voluntary Standard and Code Activities:
- Correspondence to ASTM F15.22 and ASTM 963, February 25, 2008. Rechargeable batteries and toys.
- Correspondence to UL, February 25, 2003. CPSC staff recommendations for batteries for use in smoke alarms.
- Correspondence to UL, September 6, 2002. CPSC staff recommendations for batteries for use in smoke alarms.
- CPSC staff comments to UL/ANSI Ballot, July 28, 1999. CPSC staff comments on UL 1989, Standby Batteries.
- Correspondence to Chairman, ASTM F15.22, July 12, 1999. CPSC staff comments on F963 Toy Safety regarding battery-operated ride-on toys.
- Correspondence from Chairman, ASTM F15.22, July 9, 1999. Response to staff letter of May 20, 1999.
- Correspondence to Chairman, ASTM F15.22, May 20, 1999. CPSC staff comments on F963 Toy Safety regarding battery-operated ride-on toys.
CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts:
- Final Report on Lithium Batteries Used in Residential Smoke Alarms, December 2, 2002.
- Preliminary Test Results on Lithium Batteries Used in Residential Smoke Alarms, June 28, 2002.
- For further information concerning IEEE 1725, Draft Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Mobile Telephones please contact Noelle Humenick at firstname.lastname@example.org