Battery acid is very toxic for the skin and in general. If there is skin contact, wash IMMEDIATELY, dispose of the clothing, and call 911.
All batteries contain toxic substances, but certain battery chemistries are considered more dangerous when mixed in with regular trash. The primary concern has centered on batteries that contain mercury, cadmium, or lead, which are on the EPA’s list of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals (PBTs) and are targeted as priority substances for waste minimization. According to an EPA fact sheet, batteries “account for a disproportionate amount of the toxic heavy metals contained in municipal solid waste,” even though they make up less than 1 percent of that waste.4 Single-use alkaline batteries contain fewer toxic chemicals than rechargeable batteries, but there are many more of them in the waste stream.
While batteries are very useful and essential for our current way of life, the acid inside them is highly corrosive and dangerous. When batteries are disposed of in the wrong way (in landfills), the acid can make its way back into ecosystems, in the air and water.
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