Button Cell Batteries
Button cell batteries are used in a multitude of everyday devices, big and small. From remote controls, car keys, watches, and power tools, to children’s toys, bathroom scales, hearing aids and many other devices that flash, glow or make noise.
All batteries can be hazardous, but button batteries are particularly risky, as their shape and size make them more likely to be swallowed or inserted into an ear, nose or even under a plaster cast.
In Australia, an estimated 20 children per week present to a hospital emergency department suspected of having ingested or inserted a button battery and children aged 0-5 years are particularly vulnerable. Luckily, most can be managed without admission.
One of these 20 children sustains a severe injury however, requiring a procedure to remove the battery or repair damage, Sadly, three children have lost their lives from ingesting a button battery.
Young toddlers are most at risk. Injuries have occurred in older children and adolescents, and in babies who have been fed batteries by small siblings.
It’s not just children and young people. Older adults and people living with disabilities have sustained injuries after ingesting a battery, including hearing air users and those with visual impairments who may mistake batteries for medication. Animals are also vulnerable.
Button cell batteries are recyclable and should be disposed of safely at B-cycle drop off points
To search for a drop off point by postcode visit B-cycle.
B-cycle has useful information on button cell battery storage and safety.
UN Number – important for transport and packing
Depends on chemistry type
- Lithium: 3090
- Mercury: 1641
- Alkaline: 2795