Jungheinrich Warehouse Forklift
Environmental Concerns About Electric Forklift Batteries
Electric forklifts are generally more stable and safer compared to gas and diesel powered lift trucks. Gasoline and diesel engines emit toxic exhaust and pose a risk of fire. On the other hand, electric lift trucks can be dangerous, too. They have rechargeable batteries as their source of power, and batteries could present risks to personal safety as well as to the natural environment. There are risks connected with the storage, disposal, manufacture and use of rechargeable batteries for lift trucks.
The forklift battery consists of lead plates being placed in a solution of sulfuric acid, that are known as lead-acid rechargeable batteries. Lead is a toxin that, when utilized in manufacturing processes, poses hazards to the quality of water because of drainage and runoff. When lead enters a water system it can lead to a range of health problems to human beings and can even be fatal. The sulfuric acid utilized in forklift batteries is detrimental to skin and could cause severe burns. Sulfuric acid also produces noxious fumes which can cause damage to humans and the environment.
Regular Use and Storage
When recharging, the lead-acid battery could produce hydrogen gas as a chemical byproduct. When recharging batteries for any types of vehicle or a forklift, sparks, smoking, heat and flames must be kept well away from the recharging site. The flammable hydrogen can result in 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 a concern during normal use of the battery, but if a battery is punctured or damaged, the acid can spray or leak, potentially burning anyone who is nearby.
Incorrect disposal of lead-acid batteries must always be avoided. These batteries must be recycled properly or reused in new batteries so that the sulfuric acid can either be neutralized or recycled. In order to avoid the serious environmental consequences of wrong disposal, all lead-acid batteries bought or sold within the U.S. include a "core charge" that would only be returned if the used battery is turned in.
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