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Defective Lithium Batteries Lead to Worldwide Smartphone Recall for Samsung

Posted on 9/9/2016 by Roger Marks

US FAA this week released a notice to travelers in response to an ongoing recall of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 mobile phone.

Early this month, Samsung issued a worldwide recall for all of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold to date. Dozens of customers have now reported incidents of the new smartphone bursting into flames, leading to concerns about the lithium batteries used in the devices.

The FAA’s notice to travelers reads:
"In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.”

Lithium Battery Fire Hazards

The potential for lithium batteries to pose a fire hazard are well known to both consumers and transportation regulators at the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and FAA. Lithium batteries can enter “thermal runaway,” which occurs when a chemical reaction in the battery creates heat, which in turn speeds up the chemical reaction, which creates more heat, and so on. This dangerous cycle continues until the battery ignites.

Read more about how some lithium batteries can pose hazards in the home, the workplace, and transportation here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall for defective lithium batteries

New Lithium Battery Rules from US DOT and IATA

Due to the dangers these batteries pose in transportation, US DOT recently proposed some new and updated lithium battery rules for inclusion in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

The forthcoming 58th Edition of the International Air Transport Association’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) will include many crucial updates for lithium battery air shippers, including new marking and labeling criteria mandatory January 1, 2017. 

In an emergency rulemaking last year, IATA banned standalone lithium batteries from transport aboard passenger aircraft. These tightened shipping requirements, which took effect on April 1, 2016, will appear in the text of the 58th edition IATA DGR.

The unique hazards posed by lithium batteries are all too familiar for battery shippers and consumers alike. Last year, similar incidents of lithium battery fires occurred in “hoverboards,” a popular holiday gift.

DOT, IATA, and IMDG Lithium Batteries Training

Learn the latest rules for shipping lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries by ground, air, and vessel with the Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course. The course will help you build a step-by-step approach to keeping lithium batteries in compliance with 49 CFR, IATA DGR, and IMDG Code shipping rules.

Want live training on new and changing lithium battery rules? Join us for the live, instructor-led Shipping Lithium Batteries Webinar on November 8!

Save When You Pre-order the 2017 IATA DGR Now

Save $10 and get free shipping when you order your copy of the 58th edition IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) at Lion.com before October 15, 2016. If you ship hazmat by air, your shipments must be in compliance with the IATA DGR requirements to be accepted by most major airlines and air carriers like FedEx and UPS. Get up to speed with the changing international standards and be confident your shipments will be accepted and not subject to costly delays, rejection, or problems at customs.

Tags: hazmat, IATA, lithium batteries, shipping

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