House approves change to lithium battery shipping standards

House approves change to lithium battery shipping standards
President Obama's administration is attempting to pass a law which would classify lithium batteries as hazardous materials, as they could overheat and ignite. That law would force manufacturers, retailers, and airlines to change their packaging, training, and handling methods.

But the House has passed a law which prevents limitations on air shipments of lithium batteries. According to the Rechargeable Battery Association, those limitations would cost $1.3 billion in the first year alone.

Japanese suppliers are probably relieved to hear that the House is preempting President Obama's proposition. As Japanese suppliers make up the lion's share of international battery suppliers, and they are still struggling to recover from the earthquakes and tsunami, the extra cost would be especially damaging.

We'll know more about the potential limitations in the coming weeks, as a House-Senate committee is meeting to rectify the differences between the two bills. But our concern, as end-users, is more for the potential cost-increase of our favorite electronics.

Concerns over lithium batteries first gained attention in 2006, when Apple and others had to recall products using lithium ion batteries, after there were reports of overheating, and even fires. Have you ever owned a defective/dangerous lithium-powered device?

source: Bloomberg via AppleInsider

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16 Comments

1. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

shouldnt they be doing something important like stopping the government shutdown instead?

3. Total Agreeance unregistered

EXACTLY!!

4. TabletNetbook unregistered

I think NOT stopping the government shut down would be more important. . . and getting rid of about 80% of the government would actually be doing something important.

13. Dadler22

Posts: 241; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

this is just a judicial cock block of overseas vendors. They want to increase costs of producing out of the country, since nothing is built here anymore except Chevy Cruz's and Motorola Droids X)

2. Eddy unregistered

Oh bummer.....

5. Wesley01 unregistered

Obama is a useless puppet that lied his way into office with the help of big corporations.

16. hellosies unregistered

Same could be said about 95% of any political figure anywhere

8. Rawrzellers

Posts: 224; Member since: Aug 22, 2010

What's going on in this thr.... oh shit. Anyway no I haven't really owned a dangerous device before. I mean sometimes my phones have gotten really really really really really hot before but that was because I was talking for like 3hours+ PS: No one cares what your political views are on phonearena. You might look cooler on youtube so why don't you head on over there.

9. IHatePhones

Posts: 99; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

I've never heard a case where the batteries, by themselves in packaging, spontaneously explode. The only cases I've heard where they explode is if they are damaged by laptop owners who don't treat them with care or where there is not adaquate cooling or in phones like the Blackberry Storm or iPhone (seemingly only in Europe) where even in those cases who knows what was happening to cause them to explode. Making it cost more for handling makes it cost more for us consumers as well... AND everything uses them now anyway. No thanks.

11. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Neither have I. I work at UPS in the early morning, and every cell phone box or electronic box for that matter has a Lithium stick. But, I have NEVER ever seen anything like that explode, leak or catch on fire... Seems like useless regulation that will end up driving up prices of everything else...

10. DragonicNight

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 21, 2011

>.> i am just curious how does this make any sense if they are trying to pass a law to go ahead and stop the making of lithuim battery;s they should go ahead and maybe spend time helping japan or maybe stopping goverment shut downs i mean come on Lithium batterys thats like when they were talking about not letting people have lead anymore

12. MorePhonesThanNeeded unregistered

@DragonicNight, what the hell are you talking about? The U.S. military is already in Japan helping. Talk about uninformed, shut up and read a newspaper sometime, the US was basically the first to help Japan out. The world is full of talk first think later idiots who can only parrot something they read somewhere else. You people don't seem to understand, Li-ion batteries are more prevalent than ever before. Look at the amount of rechargeable items you have in your home, some things like phones(Ni-Cad) stay plugged into the charger all day long. But portable things which you carry closer to your person can potentially harm you if they leak or explode. There is probably pressure from consumer group advocates and what not, but they do pose a risk. But we know nothing will happen until one of these explodes on someone's baby and then it's a whole giant fiasco.

15. rfrapp

Posts: 77; Member since: Jun 10, 2010

You are such a dumbass. These batteries are only a risk if you mistreat them

17. IHatePhones

Posts: 99; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

Personally I chew on my Lithium batteries and then give them to random babies. Maybe I should stop that and instead place my laptop on my car dashboard in 100+ degree temps, BUT only after I gouge some holes in the battery pack with an ice-pick. Hmm and make sure its plugged in to charge.

18. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

Cars explode. Propane tanks for summer BBQs explode. Tempers explode. Pissed off voters explode. But our cell phones are an issue? Bastard little grenades they are. The government is looking for a new way to tax the user. We will ultimately be subject to costs for: handling dangerous materials, proper disposal methods and pay per recharge along with recycling costs. House..... you suck

19. Don unregistered

Lithium batteries from quality sources like Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony, etc. are all tested and certified for transportation under the DOT & IATA to UN standards and there is nothing to worry about. Batteries coming from cheaper Chinese sources that have not been tested & certifed are the ones causing the problems. Those are the suppliers that needs to be regulated and fined for making sub-quality batteries in poor quality controled factories and shipping them to the US market without testing them.

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