Lithium Ion Batteries ARE Safe, Just Not in Cargo Holds

Lithium Ion Batteries are Commonly Used and Inherently Very Safet

Lithium Ion Batteries are Commonly Used and Inherently Very Safe

Due to recent events in the news and a call from a customer, we want to reiterate that Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries are extremely safe. Along with many solar lights, Li-Ions are regularly used in everyday products that  include hearing aids, digital and film cameras, hand-held video games, video games, video recorders, laptops, cellphones and smart phones.

(Sorry, but in this day of social media, half-baked “theories” spread faster than gossip at a 7th grade lunch room.)

Many of you undoubtedly have taken and/or used these items onto airplanes and it is perfectly safe to do so.  We are reiterating the safety of Lithium Ion batteries because we have heard on the news (and so did a customer who called in a minor state of panic about her lights with Lithium Ion batteries) that there may have been large quantities of large Lithium Batteries on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 flown as cargo. Lithium Ion batteries are forbidden by as cargo by most aviation agencies in the world, including the US Federal Aviation Administration. Find out..

In this day of social media and rapid information and “mis-information” we want to reiterate that Lithium Ion batteries are indeed very safe before anyone, like our customers, panic about what is in their yard, their pocket or their ear. Please read to find out…

Sympathies to Loved Ones of Those on Flight 370 and our sister site,, have deepest sympathies to all of the families and friends of those 239 people on the plane, and sincerely hope that they find peace and the answers they want and which they certainly deserve.   .

Our intention is not to participate in theories about Flight 370 and while the lithium ion battery theory is quite plausible we have no idea what was or was not on that plane.

There has been far too much speculation by far too many people who wanted their 15 minutes of fame and whose only accomplishments were to add to the grief of those directly impacted by the airplane’s disappearance. (God knows what happened to that airplane: few, if any living, humans yet know anything beyond speculation.)

There Are Different Types and Sizes of Lithium Ion Batteries

Most Lithium Ion Batteries Are Small, Rechargeable Units

Most Lithium Ion Batteries Are Small, Rechargeable Units

Rechargeable Li-Ion batteries are used in solar lights, cameras and the electronics mentioned above are small. They are regularly brought onto airplanes every day throughout the world.

However, any type of Lithium Ion battery is forbidden to be flown as cargo by the US Federal Aviation Administration and most other similar agencies throughout the world.

The reasons for this is that an Indian airplane crashed several years ago when very large lithium ion batteries in an unpressurized part of a plane caused a fire that led to a fatal crash.

Lithium Ion batteries were part of a past design of Boeing’s Dreamliner super jumbo plane. Since those were suspected in one fire, Lithium Ion batteries are no longer used by Boeing.

The batteries that are may have been on Flight 370, which were on the Indian airliner that crashed several years ago, and in Boeing’s Dreamliner are very different from rechargeable batteries that you probably have on or near your body right now. .

The rechargeable lithium ion batteries used in solar lights and other items you probably have on or near your body right now are very different: they are much smaller and the physical composition of them are very different.

Why All Lithium Ion Batteries Are Banned by Most Airlines

Now, when you think about the things that use rechargeable batteries, particularly laptops, phones and hearing aids, you know that they are allowed on airlines.

It’s not only because their size and composition are very small.

Passengers fly in pressurized cabins. And while loss of pressure in passenger cabins is rare, it does happen more frequently than you may think. There are zero documented cases of everyday devices or Li-Ion batteries causing problems, even though the average commercial flight carries scores of these items. Nothing bad has happened because small lithium ion batteries are very safe.

Even so, solar lights with lithium batteries are not allowed to be flown on airlines via the cargo hold. Expedited shipment of solar lights via air (and many other items) is forbidden. This also is why we can’t easily ship many solar items via overnight air or through the US Postal Service’s express packages, which people often ask us to do for products destined for Hawaii. (As we had to explain to a potential customer today, we cannot put these items into a US Postal Service Express mail package. It is against Federal Law.)

The United States and many countries prefer to err on the side of caution. While most people don’t put expensive items like cameras, phones or camera’s in checked luggage, we’re sure it happens and we bet that most of them pass through baggage screeners (unless they are stolen) and end up in unpressurized cargo holds with no negative consequences every day. (Now: should rumors go amok after Flight 370, this could change and these items may get confiscated.)

However, Lithium Ion batteries are banned from unpressurized cargo holds of air planes throughout the world. Would a small battery cause problems. Probably not. But we don’t make the rules. We just follow them.

We also  hope that this post does a small part to stop unnecessary panic and rumor mongering. Please share it with all of your Facebook friends and others who raise concerns about the safety of Lithium Ion batteries.

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