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Australia introduces button battery standards to put an end to ‘terrible deaths and lifelong injuries’

3AW Breakfast
Article image for Australia introduces button battery standards to put an end to ‘terrible deaths and lifelong injuries’

Australia will soon introduce world-first button battery standards to prevent “terrible deaths and lifelong injuries” among children.

Since 2013, three Australian children have died after eating the batteries.

The new mandatory rules mean devices which use button batteries must require a screwdriver to remove the batteries, and batteries will be packaged so that scissors are required to open the wrapping.

ACCC Deputy Chair, Delia Rickard, says there will be an 18 month adjustment period, but after that, manufacturers who flout the mandatory restrictions will face serious penalties.

“We will be out in the marketplace watching and checking, and there are serious penalties, there’s both criminal and civil penalties with maximum fines of up to … $10 million, three times the benefit received or 10 per cent of annual turnover,” she told Stephen Quartermain and Tony Leonard, filling in for Ross and Russel.

“So it’s in the suppliers interest that they take this standard really seriously.”

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