Potential Damage Caused by an Old Battery
Improper recycling, i.e. recycling that is not carried out in accordance with Greek environmental legislation and EU Directives, is the form of recycling where the waste produced from battery processing is either stored, or disposed of in the environment. This practice pollutes the air, soil and groundwater.
The internal components of the battery, namely the electrolyte and lead, are dangerous and toxic. Lead itself is considered a toxic metal and the electrolyte is highly corrosive.
These toxic materials can seep into the groundwater and contaminate overlying areas, agricultural or otherwise. One of lead’s characteristics is that it does not lose its properties. This means that it will always remain just as active if it is released into the atmosphere, falls into water or is buried in the ground.
All kinds of flora, and no less so agricultural products for consumption, are prone to absorbing toxic heavy metals, such as lead, and to retaining significant quantities thereof during their growth. Consequently when eaten (e.g. vegetables) the heavy metals pass into the human body and can lead to health problems.
Improper recycling also comprises incorrect storage and/or transportation of accumulators in containers that are not specially designed to protect against electrolyte release. The electrolyte, classified as sulphuric acid, is corrosive and can cause respiratory problems, skin rashes and burning sensation in the eyes.