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Forget about snakes, shoe bombs, and stale peanuts - it's lithium-ion batteries that you have to look out for when flying the friendly skies. According to a USA Today report, American Airlines recently confiscated 58 mobile phones, lithium-ion batteries, and charging units from a passenger trying to fly from New York to Buenos Aires.
As USA Today reports it, lithium-ion batteries are coming under increased scrutiny by airline officials. The reason? When these little battery packs short-circuit or overheat, they can burst into flames or explode.
"The frequency of incidents, combined with the difficulty in extinguishing lithium-battery fires, warrants taking strong action," Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, said of a Transportation Department proposal seeking to enact stricter rules for companies that ship lithium batteries in cargo holds.
Unlikely as it may sound, FAA data shows that lithium fires do occur on both cargo and passenger plans. From March 20, 1991, through August 3, 2010, the FAA reports some 113 incidents involving "smoke, fire, extreme heat, or explosion" on these typs of aircraft.
Lots more on the subject here.