For a discussion of safety issues relevant to all batteries refer to Section 3.8.
Manganese dioxide has no reactivity with water and is
not combustible. However, it can act as a strong oxidizer and should be
handled with caution. MnO2 causes irritation of the eyes, nose,
throat, and skin. Long term exposure can result in central nervous system
disorder. Respiratory protection (U.S.B.M. approved Schedule 21-B respirator)
must be used when handling fine powders or working in dusty conditions. Gloves
and eye protection are suggested.
Acetylene black can cause minor eye and skin irritation. Inhalation of acetylene black is irritating to the respiratory tract. Wearing approved respiratory protection is required where the concentration in air exceeds the recommended exposure standard. Acetylene black is not acutely toxic if ingested. Acetylene black may react with oxidizing agents, and will form carbon monoxide through incomplete combustion. Acetylene black is a good electrical conductor and can bridge electrical insulation.
The above warnings also apply to graphite which is very similar to acetylene black.
Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) and Sodium Hydroxide
KOH and NaOH are very strong bases. They should be stored in appropriate plastic containers to prevent corrosion and contamination and should be kept in airtight containers to avoid absorption of moisture and CO2. When diluting in water, precautions should be taken to handle the produced heat properly. Always add the alkali to the water.
All contact with KOH or NaOH solutions should be avoided. Gloves, resistant to strong bases, and eye protection should always be worn when handling these solutions. They will cause major skin and eye irritation, burns, or damage. If either of these solutions gets into the eyes, they should be thoroughly washed with diluted boric acid and water. Exposed skin should be washed with plenty of water. If ingested, the patient should drink plenty of water and immediately consult a physician.
Amalgamated Zinc Powders
Amalgamated zinc powders, which contain mercury, should be kept in air tight containers. The main concern with this material is the possible evaporation of the mercury, a poison with relatively high vapor pressure, into the environment. When amalgamating zinc powders, extreme precautions should be taken to avoid any mercury spills. It is advisable to wear protective gloves when working with amalgamated zinc or mercury. If swallowed, consult a physician. Mercury salts are very poisonous. Mercury can be kept in iron containers, since mercury does not form an amalgam with iron.
Include in your operating instructions some of the
following points which can increase the product's utility and user
Instruct the user to replace all cells at one time.
Replacement of a partial set of cells or mixing cells of different grades
exposes the device to the possibility of leakage and damage through
over-discharge of the remaining low capacity cells.
Advise the user that primary cells and batteries
are not designed to be recharged. They can leak and possibly explode if
recharging is attempted.
Advise users not to heat or open batteries or
cells. This may expose the user to high heat, chemical burns, or even
Warn the user about hazards using a general warning
such as given below.
A typical warning on all consumer batteries is as
"Do not dispose of in fire, recharge, put in
backwards, disassemble, mix with used or other battery types - may explode
or leak and cause personal injury."
An example of a special warning is the caution for
the AN/PRC-77 radio:
"To stop socket breakage in
AN/PRC-77 when installing, grip battery at socket end and press gently. Feel
radio plug guide pin enter the battery socket "D" shape, guide pin hole
until socket mates."
The U.S. Military does not use warning labels on
dry cell batteries produced by the U.S. battery industry. However, the U.S.
battery industry does provide product safety data sheets to the U.S.