U.S. House passes bill protecting Apple’s lithium batteries from hazmat classification

“Companies led by Apple Inc., Panasonic Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. would save $1.13 billion under U.S. legislation barring limits on air shipments of lithium batteries that go beyond international standards,” Carla Main reports for Bloomberg.

“The legislation, approved by the House [on] April 1, prevents President Barack Obama’s administration from enacting a proposed rule that treats billions of batteries shipped or packed into laptop computers, cellular phones and digital cameras as hazardous materials,” Main reports. “The rule would trigger packaging, training and handling requirements for manufacturers, retailers and airlines.”

Main reports, “U.S. regulators, backed by pilot unions and congressional Democrats, say they want to limit shipments because lithium batteries may overheat and ignite. The rule by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, part of the Transportation Department, would cost $1.13 billion the first year in packaging, transportation, logistical and training costs, according to an analysis commissioned by the Washington- based battery association.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Of course the discussion here will degrade into a herp derp fest of people screaming OBAMA HANDZ OFF MAH BATTEREEZ!!!! even though the legislation wasn’t proposed by Obama.

    Of course the minute a terrorist tries to use a battery to blow up an airliner they’ll all be screaming for the govt to do something.

    1. But it was proposed by those whom he hand picked to fill cabnit positions, or their underlings more accurately. Thus, it technically was proposed by him.

      That’s how accountability works.

      And terrorists have already used batteries as bombs. Just so you know.

      1. First of all, not everything proposed by the govt is bad. If you think that go live in China where they have no EPA and let us know how bad the air quality is there.

        Secondly, these rules are backed by airline pilots.. you know, the guys who actually have to fly the planes. I guess you’re going to try to convince me they are all liberal socialists right?

        Thirdly, the money they are saying this would cost, isn’t all paid for by extra fees from manufacturers, and is mostly a first year cost assessment only. These costs would likely be spread out over many difference govt agencies and companies, and would impact the cost of products in a negligible way.

        Fourthly, terrorists have ATTEMPTED to use batteries. Wait till they are successful and you’ll see how fast my point will be proven.

        Lastly, its CABINET, not CABNIT.

      2. prevents President Barack Obama’s administration from enacting a proposed rule that treats billions of batteries shipped or packed into laptop computers, cellular phones and digital cameras as hazardous materials,”

        I thought Obama and Steve were good buddies…I guess not

  2. Everyone will cool with this until an incident that occurs that kills a bunch of people. Then our Congress critters will be all up in arms to take action to prevent it from happening again.

    @macro – this sounds like the TSA and disposable cigarette lighters. One of the first first things the TSA banned from planes was disposable lighters. Then 1) TSA had to dispose of them, but in quantity, those lighters are considered hazardous materials, and require special, expensive handling in their disposal; and 2) all those lighters are explosive, and in one place now become a potential target for terrorists.

    So now the TSA lets the lighters on the plane. So are they or aren’t they dangers?

    TSA = Constitution ignoring, self aggrandizing fascist goon squad rent-a-cops in really ugly uniforms. They are proof that the terrorists won, achieving their goal of destroying the American way of life.

    1. Then there’s their new multibillion-dollar virtual strip search machines… it’s not just the foreign terrorists who won, the domestic terrorists of the security-industrial complex are making out pretty well too. Every time I wait five minutes for the harmless and overdramatized pat-down to avoid the freaky radiation boondoggle machine, I think about how many extra TSA agents (or for that matter, something much more useful) could have been hired for the price of those machines…

    2. spot on, qka!

      Lithium batteries, like many other hazardous and potentially hazardous materials need to be treated with respect. Just because Apple does a better job than most in keeping the lithium safely packaged, mostly user-inaccessable, in its products doesn’t mean that other organizations won’t find a way to screw it up. Lowering packaging standards is not the right direction.

      Tough standards are good, even when big business whines.
      Mandating rent-a-cop knee-jerk paranoid reaction to a narrow area of transportation risk is bad, especially when the public whines. TSA is supposed to serve the public, not the other way around.

  3. Does anyone actually know the details of the proposed rule? Hard to make a meaningful comment if you don’t. Falls in the same bag as the alleged FCC regulation of interment content until you actually know what it is.

  4. if batteries are considered hazmat, they are whether they are packed toghether in a bulk shipment or all by their own self in users’ hands…
    What about the one in my iPod, my cell phone, my MacBook Pro?

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