[AfrICANN-discuss] Lithium Batteries Banned From Checked Bags
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Wed Jan 2 15:23:11 SAST 2008
Lithium Batteries Banned From Checked Bags
The international rule is intended to lessen the risk of lithium
battery fires on airplanes.
By Elena Malykhina, InformationWeek
Dec. 31, 2007
Starting Jan. 1, airline passengers will no longer be allowed to pack
loose lithium batteries in checked luggage, the U.S. Transportation
Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
warned late last week.
Instead, passengers will be required to take loose batteries with them
in carry-on baggage, packed in plastic bags. The new regulation, which
will go into effect in order to lessen the risk of lithium battery
fires, won't apply to lithium batteries that are already installed in
electronic devices, such as laptops, cell phones, and cameras. Those
can be checked in.
Additionally, only two spare rechargeable lithium batteries will be
allowed on airplanes per passenger in carry-on bags.
The international rule will become U.S. law on Tuesday.
"Doing something as simple as keeping a spare battery in its original
retail packaging or a plastic zip-lock bag will prevent unintentional
short-circuiting and fires," said Krista Edwards, deputy administrator
of the PHMSA, in a statement.
The administration is treating lithium batteries as hazardous
materials since they're known for overheating and catching fire in
some conditions. Tests conducted by the Federal Aviation
Administration show that aircraft cargo fire suppression systems on
airplanes are incapable of containing fires caused by nonrechargeable
lithium batteries packaged in bulk quantities.
A small fire source is enough to ignite a lithium battery. The outer
plastic coating can melt easily and fuse neighboring batteries
together to increase the intensity of the fire, according to a June
2004 report published by the Office of Aviation Research.
In a situation where a lithium battery ignites in carry-on baggage,
flight crews can better monitor the fire since they have access to
There have been several instances in the past year that have raised
red flags about lithium batteries.
In October, a resident of Douglasville, Ga., claimed that his Apple
iPod nano caught fire in his pocket. The iPod nano uses a lithium ion
battery, which packs higher power density than a nickel-based battery.
Toshiba in June reported that a Sony lithium battery was responsible
for a notebook computer bursting into flames. Since August 2006,
Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba have recalled lithium batteries used
in notebook computers manufactured by Sony.
Copyright (c) 2007 CMP Media LLC
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