Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Battery Biohazard

Throwing your batteries in the dustbin can harm the environment.

You've probably got a dozen things that are powered by batteries. Just check your mobile phone, calculator, television remote control, camera and torchlight.

Batteries are incredibly useful but they run on poisonous chemicals and metals like mercury, lead, cadmium and nickel. That is why you mustn't throw old and damaged batteries in the dustbin.

When batteries are thrown into a rubbish heap or a landfill, the chemicals they run on leak into the soil and groundwater. Nobody wants that in their food or water!

If you throw a battery into incinerator, heavy metals like mercury can vapourise and be released into the air. When it rains, they fall back to the earth, poisoning soil, rivers and oceans.

Burning batteries leave ashes with concentrated cadmium and lead. When these are dumped, the poison leaks into the environment.

You can reduce the amount of batteries you use by buying rechargeable products. They cost a little more, but you can use them many times.

You can also buy batteries with fewer dangerous chemicals. Modern alkaline batteries have up to 90% less mercury than those used 20 years ago. Some are completely mercury free. Just read the label!

When your batteries dies, take it to a recycle centre. The recycle centre disposes of any leftover chemicals in such a way that they can't harm the environment.

  1. Batteries are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy to electrical energy.
  2. The modern battery was invented by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in 1800.
  3. A typical lead-acid car battery today is now made up of about 70% recycled lead and plastic.
  4. Malaysians produce enough rubbish every day to fill up the Petronas Twin Towers in less than 10 days.

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