The FOX media networks Green It-Mean It video campaign took a turn for the bizarre recently with a segment on single-use batteries. Entitled Batteries, the video asserts that most batteries sold each year are disposed in landfills where they leak toxic chemicals into our land and air. Behind a menacing figure of a skull and crossbones (not much subtlety there), the voiceover concludes with a suggestion that viewers check to see if your favorite brands make rechargeable batteries.
This video, which NEMA has requested Fox to remove from its Green It-Mean It rotation, is a classic example of how well-intended media campaigns can contribute to damaging misperceptions about common household products. As I noted in a related post earlier this month, it serves no purpose to mislead consumers into believing that ubiquitous AAA, AA, and 9 volt batteries represent a threat to their health or the environment. The facts are that primary batteries contain nothing toxic and are considered non-hazardous under strict Federal waste management rules. Those seeking comprehensive and accurate information on the matter should read the pamphlet issued by NEMA's dry battery section entitled Household Batteries and the Environment, which is available on NEMA's Environmentally Conscious Design and Product Stewardship Program page. Meanwhile, NEMA will continue to be remain vigilant at spotting misinformation and getting its message out.