Environmental Problems About Electric Forklift Batteries
The electric lift truck is usually considered more stable and safe than gas and diesel powered IC engines. Both diesel and gas engines pose a fire risk and emit harmful exhaust toxins. The electric lift truck is not without is hazards though. They have rechargeable batteries as their source of power, and batteries can present risks to the environment as well as to personal safety. There are hazards connected with the disposal, storage, use and manufacture of rechargeable batteries for forklifts.
The lift truck battery consists of lead plates being placed in a sulfuric acid solution, which are referred to as lead-acid rechargeable batteries. Lead is toxic that, when utilized in manufacturing processes, poses hazards to water quality due to drainage and runoff. When lead enters a water system it could result in various types of health problems to human beings and can even result in death. The sulfuric acid utilized in lift truck batteries is very harmful to skin and could cause severe burns. Sulfuric acid also produces toxic fumes which could cause damage to both humans and the natural environment.
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 forklift, sparks, smoking, heat and flames should be kept well away from the recharging place. The flammable hydrogen could lead to an explosion if ignited by flame or heat.
Sulfuric acid in the batteries could result in chemical burns if it comes into contact with bare skin. 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.
Disposing of lead-acid batteries improperly must be avoided at all costs. The sulfuric acid could either be recycled or neutralized or could be reused in new batteries. To be able to prevent the serious environmental consequences of wrong disposal, all lead-acid batteries sold or purchased in the United States include a "core charge" that will only be returned if the used battery is turned in.