Far-Reaching Button Cell and Lithium Battery Law in the Works

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On June 9, 2011, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over consumer protection and product safety, introduced new legislation (S. 1165) that would regulate all consumer products that contain lithium or button cell batteries.

The proposed Button Cell Battery Safety Act of 2011 would require warning labels and more secure battery compartments to lessen the risk of children swallowing small batteries. The law would cover a wide range of products, including cell phones, smartphones, watches, cameras, remote car locks, calculators, electronic toys, and laptops. If enacted, companies will need to evaluate their product lines and take appropriate steps to make sure their product designs and marketing materials comply with the new law. All interested stakeholders should consider taking measures to engage in legislative advocacy to ensure your company and product interests are taken into consideration as Congress considers this bill. Manatt is preparing efforts to assist companies that have concerns about the scope and impact of this proposed legislation.

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