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ACCC Focuses On Battery Safety

Gina Cass-Gottlieb has used her first National Consumer Congress as Chair of the ACCC to highlight the dangers of batteries in consumer products.

Outlining her focuses for 2022/2023, Cass-Gottlieb targeted button batteries, as well as lithium-ion batteries.

“Tragically, in Australia, three children have died and on average, one child a month is seriously injured after swallowing or otherwise ingesting a button battery,” she explained.

“Enforcing these safety standards is a vital step towards preventing deaths and injuries to children.

“I am pleased to say that in just a few days from now, on the 22nd of June, the world-leading mandatory standards for button batteries will come into effect in Australia. These safety standards are a crucial step towards preventing deaths and injuries to children.”

Another new priority for the ACCC is reducing instances of fires and injuries from lithium-ion batteries.

“We can comfortably assume that everyone in this room has at least one lithium-ion battery with them today,” Cass-Gottlieb said.

“You will find these batteries in mobile phones, smart watches, laptops and e-scooters, solar energy systems and other goods.

“Over recent years there has been a concerning increase in reports of burns and property damage from consumer products containing lithium-ion batteries. Worryingly, these reports have included solar storage devices in homes that can overheat and catch fire, causing property damage, serious injuries, and death.

“We will examine the safety hazards associated with lithium-ion batteries to assess potential risk controls and improvements to the current regulatory framework.”

The theme for this year’s National Consumer Congress was “Protecting Tomorrow’s Consumers Today”.


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