Cooper Power Sales
Cape Town: 
021 555 3521
011 397 1081

What should I do with old batteries?

Batteries can be a big health hazard is not disposed of properly.


*Please Note, If you have any Lead Acid Batteries to dispose of, please don't throw it away like ordinary rubbish.

Here at any Cooper Power Branch, we dispose of batteries in a very safe and environmentally friendly way.


Batteries are safe, but caution is necessary when handling lead acid batteries. Several countries label lead acid as hazardous material, and rightly so. Lead can be a health hazards if not properly handled.


Lead is a toxic metal that can enter the body by inhalation of lead dust or ingestion when touching the mouth with lead-contaminated hands.

If leaked onto the ground, acid and lead particles contaminate the soil and become airborne when dry.


Sulfuric Acid

The sulfuric acid in a lead acid battery is highly corrosive.

Contact with eye can cause permanent blindness.

Swallowing damages internal organs that can lead to death.

First aid treatment calls for flushing the skin for 10–15 minutes with large amounts of water to cool the affected tissue and to prevent secondary damage.



Charging batteries in living quarters should be safe, and this also applies to lead acid.

Ventilate the area regularly as you would a kitchen when cooking.

Lead acid produces some hydrogen gas but the amount is minimal when charged correctly.

Hydrogen gas becomes explosive at a concentration of 4 percent.

This would only be achieved if large lead acid batteries were charged in a sealed room.

Over-charging a lead acid battery can produce hydrogen sulfide.

The gas is colorless, very poisonous, flammable and has the odor of rotten eggs.

Hydrogen sulfide also occurs naturally during the breakdown of organic matter in swamps and sewers; it is present in volcanic gases, natural gas and some well waters.

Being heavier than air, the gas accumulates at the bottom of poorly ventilated spaces.

Although noticeable at first, the sense of smell deadens the sensation with time and potential victims may be unaware of its presence.

As a simple guideline, hydrogen sulfide becomes harmful to human life if the odor is noticeable.

Turn off the charger, vent the facility and stay outside until the odor disappears.