UNITED KINGDOM — Batteries provided to hearing aid users in the UK through the National Health Service (NHS) have been recalled over “low risk of batteries exploding during use or if depleted”, according to a government medical safety alert last month. ZeniPower mecury-free hearing aid batteries, manufactured by Zhuhai Zhi Li Battery Co Ltd, with “best before” dates of 08-2018 and 09-2018 being affected.
According to the consumer alert, the NHS Supply Chain has received new supplies of batteries since January 2016 that do not exhibit the problem.
The issue is due to “excessive gassing”, which occurs as the zinc electrode reacts with the electrolyte in the battery to generate hydrogen. On rare occasions the battery could expand and even explode.
The UK government is urging caution to ensure consumer safety, and recommends hearing professionals ensure all cochlear implant and hearing aid patients receive a copy of the medical device alert and that they understand the problem and are not using the batteries in question.
Hearing aid users who may have purchased these batteries, or are unsure if they did, are encouraged to contact their supplier to arrange for potential replacement of batteries.