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Old torches and heat: Can this combination be dangerous at home?

Batteries are part of every household - the most commonly used are so-called mono cells that we buy in various electrical devices and drivers. It is precisely monoculars that we are most likely to buy because their life is not extremely long. Is it safe to store these energy sources over the summer at home?

Batteries are basically small devices that generate electrical current due to chemical processes. While recharging chemical reactions occur in accumulators and insertion into the charger, it is possible to recover and recharge the battery, this does not work for the batteries. Once they have "juice", we stop using them. However, one can assume that no two or three discharged monoculars will run to a special container. For a while, we accumulate our batteries at home before we get rid of them ecologically. The good news, however, is that while they are extremely sensitive to ambient temperatures during their lifetime, they do not have to deal with high frosts or heat when stored at the end of their life. "Temperature extremes mainly affect battery life and functionality. When it's really completely discharged and we want to keep it, temperatures do not play a big part. Still, we must keep an eye out for atypical extremes, such as temperatures above 60 ° C. Under such conditions, the old battery can explode. Never store batteries near radiators, radiators or hearths. And do not leave it in direct sunlight or in the summer in the car, " explains Radim Tlapák (

Beware of sunlight and humidity

So if you are collecting your discharged batteries at home, it does not mean any major danger to you. They must not be in direct contact with the sun, the enemy is also water and air humidity. This causes the corrosion of sensitive parts and their permanent damage, so that old batteries may start to drip or drool some substances, most often potassium hydroxide. Therefore, it is recommended to store the used batteries in enclosed containers such as hard plastic or hard paper. There is a so-called Family Box on the market, a special cardboard collection box for collecting rechargeable batteries that can be bought for free. Its capacity corresponds to the production of the average Czech household in the course of one year, which represents the weight of the rechargeable batteries and accumulators of an approximate weight of 1300 grams (that is, about 50 pencils). The small, storage box is 11x11 cm in size and its design is designed to get rid of your battery waste once a year. This is the ideal time, since you should not be home for longer. When you make a Family Box, just fill in a simple online form, and if you want to get rid of it, send it all by mail. Everything is free.

Reasonable storage does not matter, with a bigger threat being ejected into mixed waste
While it is possible to store the discharged batteries at home for a short time, it is very dangerous to dispose of them in normal waste. They belong to special collection containers (you can find them in almost all stores of electrical engineering, bigger supermarkets, some drugstores and they should be according to the law wherever the batteries are sold). Besides many recyclable metals, these energy elements also contain harmful substances, such as heavy metals, which have a demonstrably adverse health effect. "The main building elements of batteries are zinc, iron, manganese, nickel, cadmium, mercury or lead. In particular, the last three are especially dangerous for the environment. If these substances escape into the environment, they can pollute the soil, contaminate surface or groundwater, and live organisms to cause health complications, " emphasizes David Vandrovec (REMA). "Especially during the summer heat season, there is also a threat of explosions and fires, for example in landfills where unfortunately the batteries or accumulators are mistakenly received with municipal waste," adds Vandrovec.

Source: tz, edited editorially

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