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Guides for the Wi-Fi version of the iPad Mini 4—model A1538. Announced on September 9, 2015, the iPad Mini 4 is the successor to the iPad Mini 3.

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Exposure to Lithium Ion Fumes

I replaced my old iPad mini 4 battery yesterday. I didn’t heat it as I was supposed to, so it was very difficult to remove the battery due to the adhesive. In the process, I bent the battery, heard crunching noises, and inadvertently ripped off part of the black casing with a metal tool to expose this white layer/casing underneath.

While doing this I smelled what smelled like nail polish remover. I did not see any fumes/smoke/flames, however.

1) Was this smell the battery leaking?

2) What did I expose myself to, and is it toxic or carcinogenic?

3) If I did not see any fumes, is it even possible that I was exposed to anything?

4) Does ripping off the black encasing to expose the white layer underneath matter if I did not actually tear through this white layer to the core of the battery?

5) Is my apartment safe to live in?

Thank you

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

@js2454 the smell you get is most commonly from the solvents used with the batteries. Most solvents in Li-ion cells are odorless. The two that do smell, and have distinct odor, are dimethyl carbonate (DMC) and diethyl carbonate (DEC). DMC has an alcohol-like odor, while DEC has a weaker, milder ester-like odor (like nail polish). Neither are toxic in small enough doses. Your single battery will not do you or anybody else do any harm. You are safe :-)

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Thank you! Just a couple follow up questions if you don’t mind.

1) What makes lithium ion batteries toxic then?

2) Why did my battery just emit this solvent odor and not explode in a fiery mess? Is it because I didn’t pierce through the inner white casing?

by

@js2454 you did not shorten the cell hence no fire. LiPo batteries vent with flame most commonly due to overcharging. Flames will release some fluorocarbon and formaldehyde which can be toxic (carcinogenic) in large doses. Check the MSDS sheets for LiPo batteries. https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/arti... and check the nail-penetration test on here https://www.espec.co.jp/english/products... and here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fPbZ1HV...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCDkjOak...

by

Gotcha. Thank you for all these resources. So essentially nothing to worry about if someone causes a Li-ion battery leak without the fire.

But why did I not shorten the cell? I penetrated the battery, just not with a nail like in the video. Why is my situation different?

I also placed this battery (with the exposed cell) on my table. Is this table now contaminated/toxic?

by

@js2454 your table will be fine after you remove the battery and wipe the table. You may not have shortened the cells when you cut into them. You did not penetrate all the layers and did not create a short circuit between the layers.

by

Ok. Thank you for all these resources. So essentially nothing to worry about if someone causes a Li-ion battery leak without the fire.

[br]

But why did I not shorten the cell? I penetrated the battery, just not with a nail like in the video. Why is my situation different?

[br]

I also placed this battery (with the exposed cell) on my table. Is this table now contaminated/toxic?

by

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