Lithium Batteries–travelling with!!!!

Thanks to my friends at


Most of us fly a lot when going to places to photograph. You might need to know this so you won’t be surprised when Mr. or Miss TSA  approaches you regarding your camera batteries.

Here is the new federal law  as of Jan 1 2008. It bans spare lithium batteries in checked
Effective January 1, 2008, air travelers will be required to keep all spare lithium batteries in
carry-on baggage, with the terminals covered.
For more details, please visit the Department of Transportation’s Safe Travel Web site at

This quote comes from their web site:

 Spare batteries are the batteries you carry separately from the devices they power. When batteries are installed in a device, they are not considered spare batteries.You may not pack a spare lithium battery in your checked baggageYou may bring spare lithium batteries with you in carry-on baggage – see our spare battery tips and how-to sections to find out how to pack spare batteries safely!Even though we recommend carrying your devices with you in carry-on baggage as well, if you must bring one in checked baggage, you may check it with the batteries installed .The following quantity limits apply to both your spare and installed batteries. The limits are expressed in grams of “equivalent lithium content.” 8 grams of equivalent lithium content is approximately 100 watt-hours. 25 grams is approximately 300 watt-hours:Under the new rules, you can bring batteries with up to 8-gram equivalent lithium content. All lithium ion batteries in cell phones are below 8 gram equivalent lithium content. Nearly all laptop computers also are below this quantity threshold.You can also bring up to two spare batteries with an aggregate equivalent lithium content of up to 25 grams, in addition to any batteries that fall below the 8-gram threshold. Examples of two types of lithium ion batteries with equivalent lithium content over 8 grams but below 25 are shown below.For a lithium metal battery, whether installed in a device or carried as a spare, the limit on lithium content is 2 grams of lithium metal per battery.
Almost all consumer-type lithium metal batteries are below 2 grams of lithium metal. But if you are unsure, contact the manufacturer!

Also, another web site: states:Q. Will TSA baggage screeners allow me to carry spare batteries through the security check point at airports?
A. Yes, but the spare batteries should be protected to prevent short-circuiting.

Here we go again!!!



2 thoughts on “Lithium Batteries–travelling with!!!!”

  1. I was curious about why this new regulation went into effect. Apparently lithium batteries can spontaneously burst into flame. This applies to both lithium and lithium ion batteries. There’s even a video on YouTube that shows a melted battery. Guess the FAA doesn’t want something spontaneously bursting into flame in the cargo hold. The luggage overhead is preferable.

    So Dell and Sony batteries aren’t the only ones. Some are thinking that more research has gone into getting more Whr out of a small package that is inherently unstable than making them safe.

  2. Lithium is a highly reactive metallic element like phosphorus. In free are it oxidizes rapidly causing uncontrolled exothermic reactions. You cannot put out this fire unless you cut off it’s oxygen supply (water won’t work).

    What is odd, is that they limit, rather then ban this on airplanes. I guess an occasional fire is OK? Based on that, I am guessing there really is very little hazard and either this new regulation is a result of breastbeating or there is an unspoken rationale (preventing terrorism?).

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