The Risks and Dangers of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Posted on February 13, 2024
Lithium Batteries

The Risks and Dangers of Lithium-Ion Batteries

We are living in a digital world and things like lithium-ion batteries have become the power behind our everyday devices such as smartphones and electric vehicles. They have become the new standard in the tech world because of their lightweight design, and re-chargeability. But, while these batteries are convenient, there are a spectrum of dangers that often go unnoticed…until it’s too late. Since these undeniably efficient batteries are not going away any time soon, understanding the risks and knowing the rules of disposal are crucial for your safety and the environment.

  • Physical Damage

Damage through impact, puncture, or exposure to certain temperatures, can compromise the batteries. This is happening more often with improper disposal of these batteries. When they are crushed, they can be punctured and will release hazardous chemicals that lead to catastrophic consequences.

  • Thermal Runaway

When these damages happen to lithium batteries, thermal runaway can occur: an incident where one exothermal process triggers other processes, finally resulting in an uncontrollable increase in temperature. When the battery hits a critical temperature (which happens very quickly and very easily), the battery may ignite or explode, releasing toxic gases and causing damage to surrounding objects and individuals; not to mention, the environment.

Here is a VIDEO show an example of thermal runaway and how lithium batteries can cause destruction: <CLICK HERE>

  • Proper Disposal

The disposal of lithium-ion batteries is a challenge due to their toxic components. They are contributing to electronic waste accumulation and potential pollution of soil and water sources. From the risk of thermal runaway to environmental/human hazards, It is extremely important to prioritize safety. Disposing of these types of batteries the right way can prevent a lot of issues. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and devices containing these batteries should not go in household garbage or recycling bins including dumpsters. Instead, they should be taken to separate recycling or household hazardous waste collection points. Please contact your local town office to discuss how/where to bring this type of waste.

Thank you for reading!