US DoT Bans Lithium Battery Shipments from Commercial Flights

Ban applies to non-rechargeable lithium batteries, but Department will also look into safety of rechargeable lithium-ionbatteries used in cellphones and similar portable electronic devices

Published: 15-Dec-2004

WASHINGTON-The Federal Aviation Administration has banned shipments of non-rechargeable lithium batteries on commercials flights because they pose a fire hazard when transported in the cargo holds of passenger aircraft, the first step of an action plan that includes further study of whether shipments of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in cell phones and other electronic gear also pose risks to air safety.

"This limited ban raises the level of safety for passenger flights," said Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. "Our recent research shows that non-rechargeable lithium batteries pose a special fire risk and are difficult to extinguish even when shipped in relatively small numbers."

The Department of Transportation said airline passengers will continue to be permitted to carry on board and use personal computers and other consumer products that contain lithium batteries.

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