New Zealand Issues Voluntary Safety Policy Concerning Button Batteries in Household Goods

Top Quote New Zealand’s MBIE has issued a voluntary product safety policy statement covering the risks associated with button batteries in household goods. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) June 21, 2018 - The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has issued a new voluntary safety policy statement covering household products that contain button batteries. In fact, the statement goes beyond normal domestic products and asks manufacturers to also consider products such as medical and/or scientific equipment.

    The statement addresses the risks button batteries pose to household members, especially children aged under three. If swallowed, they can endanger a child’s life either through choking or by causing severe internal burns.

    To increase safety, the policy suggests two simple methods for ensuring button batteries are safely contained:
    • Battery compartments can only be accessed if two separate mechanisms are engaged, reducing the risk of accidental release
    • Product testing should be undertaken to ensure everyday use does not accidentally open the battery compartment or loosen the mechanism

    The policy highlights the following standards to help manufacturers design, manufacture and source safer button batteries:
    • AS/NZS ISO 8124.1 Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties
    • ISO 8124-1 Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties
    • EN 71-1 Safety of toys – Part 1: Mechanical and physical properties
    • ASTM F963-11 – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toys Safety
    • UL 4200A:2015 – Standard for Safety for Products Incorporating Button or Coin Cell Batteries of Lithium Technologies

    The safety policy statement also calls for button batteries to be supplied in child-resistant packaging. It should also warn consumers about the dangers of button batteries, advising them to be keep the batteries away from children and dispose of them properly when they are empty.

    Stakeholders are reminded that, while the standard is currently voluntary, the MBIE is continuing to monitor the situation. Manufacturers and suppliers are therefore advised the check their products comply with the latest New Zealand safety standards for toys and household goods with button batteries.

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    For further information contact:
    James Park
    Senior Battery Engineer
    Mobile: +1 (410) 903-7257
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

    About SGS
    SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world

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