US Government: Photographers need educating on battery risks

January 16, 2008

Possible ?ignition? of rechargeable batteries has prompted the United States government to issue a direct warning to photographers of the potential risks when carried on aircraft.

The move is designed to draw the public?s attention to new US Department of Transportation rules which ban air passengers from carrying ?spare? lithium-ion batteries in their checked-in luggage.

The rules, which took effect on 1 January, only allow travellers to pack a lithium-ion battery in their checked-in luggage provided that it is already installed in the device.

?With more powerful batteries being produced it is paramount to educate the public on the risks of possible overheating to the point of ignition,? said Gordon Delcambre Jr, public affairs specialist for the US Pipeline and Harzardous Materials Safety Administration.

The alert follows Kodak?s warning that a booming market for counterfeit rechargeable digital camera batteries risks injuring millions of consumers.

In a letter to the Amateur Photographer newsdesk Delcambre added: ?The counterfeit batteries that make their way into the market raise the risk of short-circuiting and power overload.?

The US government advice also ?recommends? that electrical devices using lithium-ion batteries should be carried in passengers? hand luggage.

For details of the new rules, along with safety tips for travellers, visit

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