A leaking lithium battery smells like rotten eggs due to Sulfur Dioxide and should be disposed of. A non leaking battery has no smell.
Lithium is a metal mostly used in batteries due to its energy density potentials. It is soft and silver-gray. When exposed to air, it turns yellow. The odorless metal is used in the manufacture of storage batters and heat transfer metal alloys. It is hard to get exposure to the metal when used in batteries because, in most cases, the manufacturers ensure it is sealed in the battery enclosures.
There are cases where you will feel the burning sensation in your nose due to exposure to the metal. It can be caused by a defective battery or cases where the battery casing has been punctured during the repair of smartphones. The metal can expose you to several health complications when inhaled in large quantities or when it comes into contact with your eyes. It is essential to take precautions and avoid too much exposure to the metal.
Medical research shows that exposure to lithium is harmful to your health. It can lead to breathing problems when you are exposed to high amounts. There is also the risk of fire because the metal is highly flammable. Here are some of the precautions you can take when handling lithium in high quantities:
Wear protective clothing
You can avoid the adverse effects of lithium by wearing protective clothing. You can wear gloves when handling the batters. For instance, if you are exposed to lithium batteries in smartphones during repair, you can avoid too much exposure by wearing gloves. To prevent exposure to your eyes, you can wear goggles. It is also possible to avoid breathing problems by wearing a mask as you work in areas where there are high chances of getting too much exposure to lithium. There are specific materials that can prevent the penetration of lithium. Ensure you get materials that are known in order to avoid penetration of lithium. If you can wear such materials, then it will be possible to avoid too much exposure.
Remove the affected person from exposure.
The first step to take after a person has been exposed to lithium is to move the patient away from the exposure. People working in factors that manufacture lithium batteries are at high chances of coming into contact with the metal. They can avoid adverse effects by moving away from the source of the metals.
There are few cases of too much exposure, and they have been treated. Generally, it is necessary to avoid too much exposure to the metal because it is known to cause long-term side effects.
Acute Health Effects that can be caused by lithium
There are short-term effects of exposure to lithium as well as long term. Here are some of the possible side effects you can face after you have been exposed to lithium:
If your skin can come into contact with lithium, you can end up experiencing severe irritations and a burning sensation. The metal reacts with the skin. It will be even worse if it comes into contact with your eyes. One of the possible ways it can come into the act with your eyes is a case where you will be wearing dirty clothes. All protective gear you use when working near lithium should be cleaned before you wear them. Take necessary measures, and it will be easy for you to avoid unnecessary exposure to lithium that can affect your health.
Nose and throat irritation
If you inhale lithium, it can lead to a burning sensation in your nose and throat. Wear a face mask to avoid inhalation. The metal is odorless. In most cases, you will not develop a unique or strange smell after you inhale the metal. But, it has effects on your nose that will make you know you have inhaled something. For instance, the burning sensation will make your nose feel irritated.
When you inhale lithium, it can lead to coughing and shortness of breath. High concentration in your lungs can lead to pulmonary edema. The fluid buildup in your lungs can lead to a medical emergency. Remember, severe shortness of breath can lead to fatal cases. It is recommended to seek medical attention immediately you start developing difficulties breathing after exposure to lithium. For instance, if you get exposed to high doses, they will tend to affect your ability to breathe. Under such a case, call the health care providers immediately to get the necessary first aid.
Loss of appetite and nausea
Too much exposure to lithium can cause loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It is hard to eat comfortably after you have been exposed to high amounts of lithium. There is a need to take necessary measures and seek medical assistance after you get the exposure. Several measures can be taken to avoid severe side effects. Each time you have been exposed to high amounts of metal, it is always good to take the necessary measures.
Headache and blurred vision
There are incidences where people have experienced headaches, twitching, muscle weakness, blurred vision, tremors, and loss of coordination, seizures, confusion, and even coma. The metal reacts to different people differently based on the amount of exposure. It is good to ensure you take precautions as you handle the metal.
Always take necessary measures and call health care providers for detailed diagnosis to avoid severe side effects caused by too much exposure to lithium.
If you smell something odd near a battery have it check out.