Battery Symposium  

Product Safety Regulators Join Forces Seeking Engineering Solutions to Coin/Button Cell Battery Ingestion Hazard

Symposium Scheduled for October 2012

Responding to the dramatic increase in serious and fatal injuries to children caused by coin/button cell battery ingestion, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and its partner regulators in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Korea, are calling on the best engineering minds in the world to put forward coin/button cell battery ingestion hazard mitigation strategies. In an unprecedented international effort in the product safety field, staff from the five countries have formed a joint committee to hold a symposium on button battery hazards at the World Health Organization’s 11th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in Wellington, New Zealand, October 1-4, 2012. The joint committee is calling for papers and presentations at the symposium.

If a cell lodges in the esophagus, the electrical current hydrolyzes body fluid leading to serious burns in as few as two hours. Injuries include tracheo/aortal- esophageal fistulas, necrosis, stricture, and vocal cord paralysis. Diagnosis and treatment can be difficult, long-term, and painful.

At the Safety 2012 World Conference engineers and designers from around the world will present innovative approaches to eliminating the hazards posed by ingestion of the tiny batteries. The symposium will address the detection and treatment of battery-related injuries and prevention strategies, such as ingestion deterrents, stopping current flow, or cell deactivation strategies that eliminate the hazards of electrical current if cells are swallowed.

Send abstracts to jmidgett@cpsc.gov by March 20, 2012. Conference information is available at http://www.conference.co.nz/worldsafety2012.