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Preventing Lithium coin battery ingestion: a five-pronged strategy
  1. M Babiak
  1. National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)


    Background Unlike other battery chemistries, the ingestion of lithium coin cell batteries can cause serious oesophageal burns if lodged for even a short period of time. The USA battery industry is deeply concerned about the hazards presented by the ingestion of lithium coin cell batteries and has undertaken many initiatives designed to educate consumers, the medical community, and others on these dangers and to examine potential preventative measures.

    Aims/Objectives/Purpose Communication of a five-pronged strategy for addressing this important health and safety issue.

    Methods (1) Education/outreach, (2) battery compartment design, (3) warning copy, (4) packaging, and (5) battery design.

    Results/Outcomes Industry efforts have focused on educating consumers on the hazards associated with lithium coin cell batteries and educating the medical community on battery design features that allow for distinction between lithium batteries and actual currency in radiographic images, thereby leading to more timely and accurate diagnosis of potential ingestions. Working with device designers, appliance manufacturers, and standards development organisations, the industry supports changes to battery compartment design to reduce ease of accessibility. The industry supports efforts to evaluate potential design modifications that may reduce ingestions. While the variety of devices that rely on lithium coin cell batteries in the marketplace makes battery redesign more challenging than other areas, such modifications are also being evaluated. Changes have been advanced to strengthen warning copy and evaluate packaging options to limit the accessibility of lithium coin cell batteries.

    Significance/Contribution to the Field Comprehensive approach based on learnings and actions.

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