The dangers of lithium batteries

Lithium batteries are undoubtedly popular going by their wide use in consumer products, and even higher powered models in electric vehicles. However they have been linked to fires, illicit drug makers and medical problems.

The recent death of a toddler in Queensland, Australia and others injured after swallowing them, has again focused attention on the common power source.

From January 2013 stricter regulations for the carriage of Lithium batteries by air travellers were introduced - best check with your airline for the rules.

A battery can also be a convenient source of lithium metal used in illegal methamphetamine laboratories. Sales of larger quantities are restricted for this reason in some areas.

International industry standards for button batteries are soon to be introduced as an urgent safety measure.

These are likely to include strengthened consumer education about the dangers and child-restraint packaging for the cell batteries.