Jungheinrich Warehouse Forklift
Environmental Issues About Electric Forklift Batteries
Electric lift trucks are normally safer and more stable compared to diesel and gas powered forklifts. Gasoline and diesel engines emit toxic exhaust and pose a risk of fire. On the other hand, electric forklifts could be dangerous, also. They have rechargeable batteries as their source of power, and batteries can present risks to personal safety as well as to the natural environment. There are risks associated with the storage, disposal, manufacture and use of rechargeable batteries for lift trucks.
Nearly all lift truck batteries are made by placing lead plates into a solution of sulfuric acid. These are called lead-acid rechargeable batteries. Lead is a toxin which, when utilized in manufacturing processes, poses hazards to water quality due to drainage and runoff. When lead enters a water system it can cause a range of health problems to human beings and can even be fatal. The sulfuric acid used in lift truck batteries is detrimental to skin and can lead to severe burns. Sulfuric acid also produces harmful fumes that could cause damage to both the environment and to human beings.
Normal Use and Storage
When recharging, the lead-acid battery could produce hydrogen gas as a chemical byproduct. When recharging batteries for any kinds of vehicle or a lift truck, sparks, smoking, flames and heat must be kept well away from the recharging place. The combustible hydrogen could cause an explosion if ignited by flame or heat.
If it touches the bare skin, sulfuric acid in the batteries can lead to chemical burns. This is not an issue during normal use of the battery, but if a battery is damaged or punctured, the acid could leak or spray, potentially burning anyone who is nearby.
Improper disposal of lead-acid batteries must always be avoided. These batteries must be recycled correctly or reused in new batteries so that the sulfuric acid can either be recycled or neutralized. In order to prevent the serious environmental consequences of incorrect disposal, all lead-acid batteries sold or bought in the United States include a "core charge" which would just be returned if the used battery is turned in.
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