Batteries are an important part of our lives and an essential part of keeping our electronics functioning. When batteries lose their power, it can be more than a nuisance; it can also be a hazard for your family. These small powerhouses contain substances like acid that can be toxic. In particular, they can cause serious injury and even death if a small child accidentally comes into contact with it or even swallows it.
Moreover, because of the substances inside batteries, they pose a risk for explosion or fire. Knowing how to handle, store and dispose of batteries safely is important for everyone to know, whether or not there are young children at risk.
Batteries are one of the most common electronic waste disposal items in Ontario. Due to the increased number of battery-powered devices in Canadian homes, it is important to know how to discard these tiny items safely.
Risks of Used Batteries
Batteries are small and powerful, thanks to the strength of the chemicals inside, which means they need to be handled carefully—especially around young children. Depending on their size, batteries pose a serious hazard to young children and babies who can easily swallow them. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect your child has swallowed a battery. Serious damage can happen inside a child’s body within hours if they are not treated.
This is not the only hazard that comes with batteries. Due to their components, batteries—particularly lithium-ion ones—can pose a danger of overheating, causing fires or exploding. The toxic chemicals inside of them can also leak, causing environmental hazards. It is important to report any problems you have with batteries to the company that manufactures them. You can also inform Health Canada of any incidences so they can monitor the product and protect consumers.
Types of Batteries
There are a wide variety of batteries that can be found in everyday objects, including musical gift cards, children’s books, light-up necklaces and other jewellery, hearing aids, key chains and more. For proper care and disposal, you must be aware of the battery types in your home.
Batteries that are contained within packaging should be checked to ensure they are secure, and there are no leaks. If you are changing batteries, it is a good idea to have a collection place for old, used batteries. This container should be kept away from children. There is still a risk of damage or injury with used batteries, so storing them safely until you can properly dispose of them is crucial.
If you have lithium-ion batteries in your home, you want to be extra careful. These batteries are ones that are more likely to cause problems. They can be found in popular electronic devices like laptops, cell phones, power tools, etc. They can even be found in popular new products like e-bikes. One way to know if you have a lithium-ion battery is if the device can be recharged.
There have been several news stories about the dangers of lithium-ion batteries. This only underlines the importance of the safe handling of batteries and their products.
Proper Disposal of Batteries
Batteries are considered electronic waste and need to be handled carefully and disposed of correctly. Throwing them in with your regular garbage is not the right way to dispose of batteries, even if they are used. There are many places that you can drop off your old and used batteries. These organizations offer battery recycling options that can keep hazardous electronic waste out of our landfills. Companies like Junk Works can ensure that all your electronic waste, including batteries, are handled appropriately. This prevents health and environmental hazards across Ontario.
Batteries have the potential to leak, which can get into groundwater. This is something that experts say pose a problem for the entire ecosystem. When handling batteries, it is important to keep them out of heated areas. Due to the substances inside batteries, they pose a high risk of explosion. Don’t risk throwing a battery into a fire or you may cause serious injuries to yourself or those around you.
Keep any batteries, including used ones, out of the reach of children. All batteries, even the ones that don’t work anymore, can cause serious harm or even death if swallowed. Have a secure container to store used batteries. When storing them, keep batteries side-by-side so that their contact points don’t connect, which could cause a spark. It has also been recommended you apply tape to both ends of the battery to prevent them from coming into contact with another battery or metal component.
Tips for Handling Batteries
There are several things that people can do to increase their safety when dealing with batteries of all kinds. These include:
- Ensure they are installed in the electronic device appropriately to prevent leaks
- Don’t mix battery types together. For example, don’t use rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries in the same device
- Don’t leave battery-powered devices on your bed while you sleep; this includes cell phones or children’s toys
- Keep batteries away from other metal objects like keys
- Always follow the package instructions
When it comes to keeping your home, office and environment safe, properly using, storing and disposing of electronic waste like batteries is key. Batteries are made up of harmful substances that can cause injuries or even death, particularly to young children. Properly storing used batteries in a containing away from heat and the reach of young children is important.
Many battery recycling programs will take your old and used batteries, which keeps them out of landfills and protects people and the environment.
For more information about the proper and safe disposal of batteries and electronic waste, call Junk Works at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865) or contact us here.