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The Portable Rechargeable Battery Association Supports DOT Prohibition on Spare Lithium Batteries in Checked Baggage

Battery-Safety Rules Take Effect on Jan. 1, 2008
Monday, December 31, 2007
For immediate release Contact: W. John Moore
December 31, 2007 Phone: 202.683.3110

The Portable Rechargeable Battery Association Supports DOT Prohibition on Spare Lithium Batteries in Checked Baggage Battery

Safety Rules Take Effect on Jan. 1, 2008

Washington – The Portable Rechargeable Battery Association today announced its support for new Department of Transportation rules that prohibit airline passengers from packing spare lithium metal (non-rechargeable) batteries and lithium ion rechargeable batteries in checked baggage but allow travelers to bring spare batteries in carry-on luggage.

The DOT’s regulations address legitimate concerns about spare lithium batteries packed in checked luggage aboard aircraft, said PRBA Executive Director George Kerchner. At the same time, Kerchner added, travelers can bring notebook computers, cell phones, DVD players, digital cameras, and other consumer electronic products either onboard or in checked luggage even if the lithium batteries are installed in these items. Travelers can also bring the most commonly used spare lithium batteries with them in carry-on luggage, but the batteries should be safely packaged, either in their original retail packaging or in plastic bags. The DOT rules take effect tomorrow http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html.

Kerchner noted that some early press accounts stating that passengers could bring only two spare batteries in carry-on luggage were inaccurate. The two-battery limit for lithium ion batteries only applies to spares exceeding eight grams of equivalent lithium content. The DOT correctly noted that all lithium ion batteries used in cell phones fall well below the 8 gram limit, as do nearly all notebook computer batteries. Passengers are limited to bringing two spare lithium ion batteries only if the batteries exceed 8 grams of equivalent lithium content and less than 25 grams. As for lithium metal batteries, whether installed in a consumer product or carried as a spare, the maximum lithium content is 2 grams per battery. All consumer lithium metal batteries have less than 2 grams of lithium metal.

Lithium ion batteries are the unsung heroes of the consumer electronic revolution and the DOT rules recognize their ubiquitous presence in modern life. Travelers, corporate road warriors and vacationers alike will find these rules easy to live with, especially if they follow government safety tips endorsed by PRBA, Kerchner said.

The DOT rules, however, may be a more problematical for news gathering organizations, sports broadcasters, television production companies, and other media businesses that rely on crews requiring audio/visual equipment powered by larger lithium ion batteries with more than 8 grams of equivalent lithium content, Kerchner noted.

A guide to DOT’s new lithium battery carry-on provisions can found on PRBA’s website at http://www.prba.org/Laws_and_Regulations/Default.ashx.

About PRBA

The members of PRBA power the consumer electronics revolution. We deliver a safe, efficient, and essential power source for notebook computers, cell phones, power tools, PDAs, MP3 players and other cordless devices. PRBA members produce more than half of the world’s lithium-ion cells and account for billions of dollars in annual worldwide sales. With more than 70 members, PRBA is widely recognized as the nation’s authoritative source for information on portable rechargeable batteries.

Immediate release Contact: W. John Moore

November 16, 2007 202.448.9295

Safety Tips for Holiday Travelers

PRBA Urges Airline Passengers to Follow Safety Guidelines for Batteries and Battery-Powered Notebooks, Cameras, Cellular Phones and Other Products

Washington, D.C – During the upcoming holiday season, travelers should take the necessary steps to enhance the safe use and transport of lithium-ion batteries and battery-powered consumer electronic products carried onboard passenger aircraft, the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association said today.

If travelers observe Department of Transportation safety guidelines, they will minimize errors that could create problems with batteries and everyday battery-powered products, including notebooks, cameras, cellular phones, PDAs, MP3 players, and other electronic gear, said PRBA Executive Director George Kerchner.

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday travel season, with experts forecasting 27 million passengers will board an airplane by November 28. It’s important that passengers are alerted to these DOT guidelines and follow its recommendations over the next several weeks of peak travel, Kerchner said.

The DOT’s safety advisory targets the safe transportation of batteries and battery-powered devices by airline passengers and crew. The advisory said a portable battery-powered devices and batteries are safe for transportation when packed properly. Passengers, however, should:

  • Keep spare batteries in their original retail packaging
  • Keep loose batteries covered with insulating tapes to protect them against contact with metal objects
  • Place each battery in its own protective case, plastic bag, or package
  • Pack spare batteries in carry-on luggage, not checked bags
  • Charge only rechargeable batteries
  • Use only chargers designed for the specific battery
  • Take steps to prevent crushing or puncturing of batteries
  • For more information, go to: http://safetravel.dot.gov/tips.html

Lithium-ion batteries are the unsung heroes of the high-tech revolution in consumer electronic products, Kerchner noted. But batteries must be used correctly. Travelers must understand that the minimal risks associated with batteries and battery-powered products are dramatically reduced if DOT recommended procedures are followed.”

About PRBA

The members of PRBA power the consumer electronics revolution. We deliver a safe, efficient, and essential power source for notebook computers, cell phones, power tools, PDAs, MP3 players and other cordless devices. PRBA members produce more than half of the world’s lithium-ion cells and account for billions of dollars in annual worldwide sales. With more than 70 members, PRBA is widely recognized as the nation’s authoritative source for information on portable rechargeable batteries.