Lithium
What Does the Laptop Ban Mean for Travelers?

Cargo loading on aircraft

Recent Airline Laptop Ban

On March 25, 2017, the United States government implemented a ban on passengers bringing carry-on electronic devices such as laptops on board certain airlines. This ban will affect electronics that exceed the size of a cellphone—typical products that will be banned include laptop computers, tablets such as the iPad and Android versions, gaming devices larger than a cellphone, DVD players, and portable printers and scanners. These devices may still be carried by travelers, but must be stowed in checked luggage during the flight. Medical devices will be exempted from the restrictions.

The ban affects flights leaving from ten airports in eight Middle Eastern countries.

Airports Involved in the Ban:

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Cairo International Airport, Cairo, Egypt
  • Dubai International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar
  • King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait City, Kuwait
  • Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca, Morocco
  • Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan

The ban affects flights of the following airlines leaving from any airports listed above:

  • EgyptAir
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Turkish Airlines

The ban is intended to only apply to direct flights from these locations to the U.S., which would total just about 50 flights a day. Continue Reading…

Lawnmower
Spring into Safety – Gasoline/Lithium-Ion Battery Powered Lawn Equipment

Backyard

Lawn Equipment Safety

As the cold weather comes to an end (hopefully sooner rather than later) and we turn the corner and head into spring, we will realize that we have our work cut out for us in our backyards. Once the snow melts and the reality sets in that we have a lawn and garden that will need attention, into our sheds and garages we will go to dust off our battery or gas powered lawn equipment to get the job done. Using the lawn equipment may seem pretty straightforward, but we must realize that this equipment is powered by gasoline and lithium-ion batteries, which if not stored and used correctly, or under the wrong circumstances, can be quite dangerous. Below are some safety tips for gasoline and battery powered lawn equipment.

Safety Tips for Gasoline Powered Lawn Equipment:

  • Store gasoline in an approved container or tank. Keep gasoline containers tightly closed and handle them gently to avoid spills.
  • Gasoline is a flammable liquid and should be stored at room temperature, away from potential heat sources such as the sun, a hot water heater, space heater, or a furnace, and a least 50 feet away from ignition sources, such as pilot lights. Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can travel along the floor to ignition sources.
  • Do not smoke where gasoline is handled or stored.
  • Only Continue Reading…
Lithium
Lithium Battery Labels as of Feb 1, 2017

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

UPDATE: The download link has been updated to current regulatory standards for August 1, 2017.

Please see: Lithium Battery Marks and Labels August 2017

Both 49 CFR and TDG are expecting to harmonize lithium battery labels into the regulations; however, both regulations are pending. HM-215N (49 CFR) was recalled, and will not be reissued for at least 60 days.

Transport Canada has not provided an ETA on the harmonization.

Find out the correct labels to use below:

 

Lithium Battery Labels as of August 1, 2017

Lithium
Lithium Battery Worlds Collide

One of my favorite episodes of the show Seinfeld is the one where worlds collide. In the episode Elaine asks George’s girlfriend Susan to a show. On the surface this seems harmless. According to Kramer, this is a bad thing because when George’s “sanctuary world” and his “girlfriend world” collide there will be an explosion.

I had a case of my worlds colliding over the holidays. Let’s see what the results were. The attached pictures are from a leaf blower my husband received as a Christmas gift. It is a nice gift that will help us with yard work in the future. The description on the box says it comes with a charger for the included 40 volt, 2.0 ampere-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery. On the back was the Lithium battery handling information. I didn’t pay much attention to it due to being in a cookie coma from the holidays.

Lithium battery label on box

Upon arrival home and while unloading the car, my husband noticed the information on the box and pointed it out to me. He then asks, “Should this be on here?” Needless to say, once we were fully unpacked I grabbed my regulations just to see.

Using the information on the box let’s review some points for shipping Lithium-ion batteries. Bear in mind this was purchased at a store where it was on the shelf. I have no way of knowing if it was shipped in this box.

Lithium
Safety Tips for Items with Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-Ion Batteries in Our Lives

If there is one thing most of us have in common, it is how often we come in contact with items that use lithium-ion batteries. Whether it’s a laptop computer, cellphone, camera, or even an electronic cigarette, we rely on lithium ion batteries for many different purposes. Unfortunately for some consumers, when lithium-ion batteries fail, they do in devastating fashion. When a lithium battery explodes, it can cause a fire that generates temperatures up to 1000° F and can cause severe 3rd degree burns as the video below demonstrates.

What can we do to prevent such a catastrophic event from occurring while we utilize these everyday items that use lithium-ion batteries? Below is a list of safety tips when using items with lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium Battery Safety Tips

  • Only use the charger that came with your device. If you need to buy a new one, make sure the replacement is recommended for the use of your device by the manufacturer. Just because a charger fits in your device doesn’t mean that it is safe to use.

 

  • Do not overcharge your device. It is recommended that once your device is fully charged that you should unplug it.
  • Keep your device out of extremely high or low temperature locations. Do not place the battery in direct sunshine, or store the battery inside cars in significant hot Continue Reading…
Lithium
Another Lithium Battery Recall

New Recall of Laptop Computer Battery Packs

An expanded recall of laptop computer battery packs for Panasonic battery packs used in Toshiba laptop computers was made on Wednesday January 4th, 2017.

The lithium-ion battery packs can overheat and cause burns and fire hazards.

This expanded recall involves Panasonic lithium-ion battery packs installed in 41 models of Toshiba Satellite laptops, including the Satellite models affected by the March 2016 recall. Toshiba has expanded the number of battery packs to include those sold between June 2011 and November 2016. The battery packs also were sold separately and installed by Toshiba as part of a repair. Battery packs included in this recall have part numbers that begin with G71C (G71C*******). Part numbers are printed on the battery pack.

If your battery pack is part of the recall, power off the laptop, remove the battery and follow the instructions to obtain a free replacement battery pack. Until a replacement battery pack is received, you should use the laptop by plugging into AC power only. Battery packs previously identified as not affected by the March 30, 2016 recall are included in this expanded announcement.

To see if your device is eligible for exchange, go to http://go.toshiba.com/battery or call Toshiba America Information Systems toll-free at 866-224-1346 any day between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. PT.

As always, ICC is here for all of your safety needs. Contact us Continue Reading…

Lithium
FedEx Grants Extension on Lithium Battery Mark for Air Transport

New Lithium Battery Marks

The 58th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations has introduced new package markings for air transport of lithium batteries. For fully-regulated (Section I) batteries the UN has introduced the dedicated lithium battery Class 9 label, showing a battery graphic in the lower half. For low-powered batteries that are exempted under Section II, IATA has introduced a new version of the Lithium Battery Handling label (the one marked “CAUTION”).

The new Lithium Battery Handling mark (no longer classified by IATA as a “label”) was designed to eliminate the text portion, making the mark no longer dependent on a specific language. Instead of using text to indicate type of battery, this mark will use the UN number, making it easy to identify the batteries no matter what language the handlers speak.

New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram

ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and IATA (International Air Transport Association) intend this new handling mark and the new lithium battery Class 9 label to be phased in over the next two years, to become mandatory on January 1, 2019. This will allow people to use up old stocks, and train their staff to recognize the new symbols while still using the old ones.

FedEx Implementation

However, FedEx introduced a variation (FX-05 in the IATA DGR) that requires shippers to mark the UN number on Section II batteries as of January 1, 2017, two years before ICAO Continue Reading…

Shipping a Gift? Ask Yourself, is it Dangerous Goods?

This weekend, my husband and I decided it was time to do some clean up and sell some things on e-Bay. We did the usual photo and description, and posted a few odd items. When we came to the last item, a PS3 controller, my husband stopped and said, “I am going to have to ship this as dangerous goods.”

It got me thinking, how many people would know that? I wonder how many lithium batteries are mailed or shipped by average people, never thinking that they are doing something wrong and potentially very dangerous. Even scarier, is the thought that my family could be on that same plane.

As the holiday season approaches, people everywhere will be sending gifts to loved ones around the world. What many people still do not realize, is that innocent gifts like game controllers, lap-top computers, cell phones, and tablets are dangerous goods.

The definition of “dangerous goods” varies slightly from regulation to regulation, but basics means  articles or materials capable of posing significant risk to people, health, property, or the environment  when transported. Examples include: perfumes, paints, aerosol cans, and anything with a lithium battery including power tools, computers, and cameras.

Dangerous goods need to be packaged and labeled in accordance with the regulations. You also need to be a trained person to ship them.

Before you wrap that gift, contact the post office or the Continue Reading…

Lithium
New Lithium Battery Rules for FedEx

Lithium by definition is an element on the periodic table. It has the symbol of Li and the atomic number 3. It appears as a soft metal and silvery white in color. Lithium compounds have various uses. They can be used in lubricants, special glasses/ceramics, and as a drug to treat the manic episodes of bipolar disorder. It is also used in rechargeable batteries. Interestingly enough, those folks involved with the shipping of Lithium Batteries could probably benefit from the drug form about now. I don’t mean to belittle those who suffer from a bipolar disorder and the manic episodes that can occur under this diagnosis. It is an awful disease. However, with all of the changes happening in the regulations for shipping Lithium batteries, many shippers can begin to feel a bit manic.

Not only are the regulations changing for all modes of transport, but so are the rules of certain Carriers. Federal Express or FedEx Express recently released their changes for air shipments. These changes will go into effect on January 1, 2017 along with the new IATA regulations, and will be included with the Operator Variations for FedEx. So what are the changes?

Change #1: Lithium batteries (UN3090 and UN3480) meeting Section II requirements under IATA will NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED by FedEx Express.

What does “no longer accepted” mean? Let’s clarify some terms and information. UN3090 is for Lithium Metal Continue Reading…

Lithium
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 BANNED

Don’t Bring Your Note 7 with You on a Plane

More bad news for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owners. Not only do you have to worry about them catching on fire, but now, you can’t even bring them with you when you travel by air.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), announced it is issuing an emergency order to ban all Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone devices from air transportation in the United States.

This emergency order bans all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices from “being on their person, in carry-on baggage or in checked baggage on flights to, from or within the USA.

The emergency order can be found here:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-25322.pdf

In September, Samsung announced the recall of over 1.9 million Galaxy Note7 devices. The Consumer Product Safety  Commission says that Samsung received 96 reports of lithium batteries overheating, including 13 burns and 47 reports of property damage. The CPSC recall notice can be found here: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/Samsung-Expands-Recall-of-Galaxy-Note7-Smartphones-Based-on-Additional-Incidents-with-Replacement-Phones


If you need to ship lithium ion or metal batteries by themselves, packed in equipment or  contained in equipment contact ICC for training and supplies to ensure that they are transported safely.