The Truth about Batteries
As you might suspect, batteries are not just any waste, they are a hazardous waste filled with chemicals and heavy metals – mercury, nickel, cadmium, cobalt, lead – that are toxic to all life. Because they are normally sealed you don’t come into direct contact with these compounds, but once they are on the land field in the open, exposed to the elements, they degrade and seep all of that toxic waste into the environment – polluting air, land and water.
But it gets worse, some heavy metals, like cadmium, are taken in by plant roots and accumulate in grass, vegetables and fruits. Along with impure water, these plants are then consumed by animals, which are in turn consumed by humans. Over a period of time of such exposure can cause severe problems:
- Batteries contain amounts of lead, cadmium, mercury, and potassium which are toxic to the human body and have been known to cause: nausea, excessive salivation, abdominal pain, liver and kidney damage, skin irritation, headaches, chemical burns, asthma, nervousness, and more.
- Contribution to landfills generates more methane gas, more methane gas leads to a greater greenhouse effect and influences negative climate change.
- The production of batteries uses up natural resources, energy, and generates pollution.
While these things are undoubtedly important, learning how to recondition your batteries is not just about the collective population health and the environment. The math doesn’t lie. With the twenty batteries a year per person statistic mentioned above, a family of four would spend on average $239.20 on batteries! Sure, you could just make the switch to rechargeable batteries and sacrifice spending the 275% higher cost per battery and ~$50 for the charger!
There are measure you can take to alleviate these problems by trying to use rechargeable batteries, or disposing them in a responsible manner, but that still leaves you short of the another option – reconditioning used batteries.