Once again, we’re at that time of year when we have to change our clocks. November 7th, 2021 will be the day you change, or Fall Back, your clock by one hour. Many people will also use this date to change out all the batteries in their home’s smoke detectors too. That’s great, after all safety first right, but only if you include the additional safety precaution of properly recycling those old batteries as well.
The danger of old batteries being thrown away, and left to corrode in landfills, has been shown time and time again. The problems of contamination, animal ingestion, and dangerous childhood exposure have been seen, and warned against for years now. However, despite this, many people choose to ignore the issue entirely; leaving too many batteries to wind up simply thrown away to become future catastrophes.
Part of the problem is that those who do this often don’t think about it as a problem at all, mainly because the battery goes away with their garbage, never to be seen again. However, every so often the proof of danger plays out right at home. Although all batteries need to be properly disposed of, for some reason people often forget that this includes smaller batteries, the so called “button batteries” as well. Unfortunately these can quickly prove just how small, but mighty they truly can be.
These are the type of batteries that are generally found in watches, garage door openers, and small electronic games. They typically range in sizes similar to that of small, medium, and larger buttons. They are also usually just as thin. Babies, toddlers, and animals have all been known to find these shiny little “buttons,” and swallow them whole, much to their detriment. As the stomach acids start to break down the battery casing, out comes the battery acids, and then boom, you have a homemade nightmare to deal with. You can imagine what happens to the stomachs, and intestines, of those who were unfortunate enough to have consumed the battery. Hospital visits, surgery, future treatments, and even death can (and sadly often does) soon fallow. There have even been instances where children have gotten button batteries stuck in their throat, only for the acid to start to burn its way through. How could all of these tragedies been avoided? None of it needed to happen, and wouldn’t have, if only the batteries were properly recycled in the first place.
So, please do your part, and take steps to “Fall Back” into some good battery safety habits this year, once you’ve changed those clocks that is. Have a great November everyone.