Battery danger is no new phenomenon but can pose a significant threat to those who are unaware. Because of its rechargeable nature, lithium is a high-demand metal used in almost every electronic device made today, including vapes and e-cigarettes.
Vaping is extremely popular due to its convenience and the plethora of flavors available. The Truth Initiative, a public health organization working to end smoking and vaping, surveyed more than 2,700 young people and found that more than half of 15 to 24-year-olds who vape use disposable devices. At first glance, this may not seem like a big deal, but vaping devices are manufactured with lithium-ion batteries, and two-thirds of the surveyed vaping population throw their used vapes right into the household trash.
Lithium-ion batteries are in electronics we use daily, such as phones, computers, tablets, cameras, laptops, household appliances, children’s toys, power tools, and vapes. Many people use these devices without issues, but some experience devastating fires caused by damaged lithium-ion batteries. If damaged, a single lithium-ion battery can start a chemical fire that requires special methods to extinguish and can even re-ignite hours after being extinguished.
Battery fires occur when a chemical separator is breached, leading to a short circuit when the anode and cathode come into contact. This allows the battery’s stored energy to be rapidly released, which causes heat to build up and trigger a thermal runaway. When municipal waste is disposed of, many things can crush, puncture, or damage whatever is thrown out, including batteries. For this reason, it is critical to never dispose of electronics of any kind with municipal waste. This means not throwing away old phones or tablets in the kitchen trash.
According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, five disposable vapes are being thrown away every second by young people in the US. During a year, this amounts to 150 million devices containing enough lithium for about 6,000 Teslas.
Any device containing lithium-ion batteries should be disposed of properly. IT asset disposition facilities like HOBI collect retired IT hardware and ensure that it does not end up in landfills. HOBI is an R2v3, RIOS, and ISO-14001 certified IT asset management and disposition enterprise with more than 30 years of industry experience.
Visit the HOBI blog for information on lithium-ion fire prevention, or for more information about our ITAD services, call 817-814-2620 or contact HOBI at email@example.com.