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Lead acid batteries pose a potential threat to human health and the environment if improperly discarded. The two main components of these batteries are sulfuric acid and lead. Both lead and sulfuric acid can contaminate solid and ground water. Sulfuric acid is highly corrosive, and lead has been linked to health effects in humans, particularly children.


  • Properly manage used batteries by having them picked up by:
    • The wholesaler or retailer from whom you purchased the batteries.
    • A facility that recycles the batteries by extracting the lead.
    • A collection center that sends batteries to a smelter or recycler.
    • Smaller Lead Acid Batteries may be picked up by sending EHS a request.
  • Avoid long term storage of batteries.
  • Store batteries upright in a secure, covered location on a sealed surface. Check for leaks often.
  • Tape or cap all terminals.
  • Get a receipt from the recycling company and maintain records for at least five years.


  • Do Not place lead acid batteries in the garbage.
  • Do Not pour battery acid onto the ground or into a drain.
  • Do Not take lead acid batteries to a landfill.
  • Do Not store batteries outside, unprotected from the weather.
  • Do Not pile batteries more than four high.