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This article applies to selling in: Italy

Button and coin batteries - UK safety requirements and EU safety advisory

What products are impacted by these requirements?

Button and coin batteries can be sold as stand-alone batteries but are also used in a broad range of consumer and household products. These include remote controls, watches, computers, cameras, calculators, torches, flameless candles, fitness devices, digital kitchen and bathroom scales, musical greeting cards, and home medical devices. Button batteries are often powered by alkaline, silver oxide or zinc air and have a lower rated voltage (less than 1.5 volts). Coin batteries are powered by lithium, rated at 3 volts and tend to be larger in diameter than button batteries.

Safety risks associated with button and coin batteries

Button and coin batteries can present a choking, ingestion or insertion hazard, in particular for young children. When the battery becomes lodged and in contact with bodily fluid, a chemical reaction occurs (electrolysis), resulting in chemical burns to the body tissues that it is in close contact with.

What is the PAS 7055:2021 Publicly Available Specification?

The voluntary PAS 7055: 2021 (UK Publicly Available Specification on Button battery safety) was published in April 2021. The specification outlines the following:

  • Details relating to labelling, instructions and packaging including warnings
  • Alignment of safety and health warnings
  • Merchandising such as displays and locations
  • Encouragement and facilitation of safe disposal or recycling or both
  • Product safety of typical consumer products using button and coin batteries such as inclusion of warning text and requirements for secured battery compartments

For more information, go to PAS 7055:2021 Button and coin batteries – Safety requirements – Specification.

What does this mean for selling in the UK?

PAS 7055:2021 is a UK specification and applies to products being sold into the UK. While the specification is voluntary, the requirements in the specification will be considered by UK regulators when assessing if a product is safe under the UK General Product Safety Regulations 2005. The UK OPSS (Office for Product Safety and Standards) is also encouraging businesses to implement the specification. If you sell products containing button and coin batteries, it is recommended that you make yourself aware of the PAS and take the necessary actions to ensure you continue to sell these products successfully into the UK.

Safety advisory for selling in the EU

This section should be considered an additional safety advisory to raise the awareness on the risks associated with the button and coin batteries and products containing button and coin batteries for selling into one or more of the EU stores.

For sales in the EU, the PAS is not currently enforced by authorities. However, the PAS can be considered as a product safety code of good practice in the sector concerned which can help you demonstrate compliance to the EU General Product Safety Directive. We recommend you share this standard with your manufacturers, if they are not already aware, to help ensure the products you provide are of the highest safety standards.

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