Environment

Jan 3, 2011 11:29 AM by Greg Boyce

Obama administration worries about lithium batteries

WASHINGTON (AP) - A dispute over the safety of shipping lithium batteries is brewing between the U.S. and some trade partners. The Obama administration wants to treat the batteries as hazardous cargo. If they catch fire, lithium batteries burn hot and the fire is hard to put out.

Airline pilot unions say they want additional safety precautions. But other major countries worry about increased shipping costs and disruptions in the flow of some electronics like cell phones and laptops.

Diplomatic and industry officials say the European Union, China, Japan, South Korea and Israel have lobbied against the proposal.

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