Lithium-ion batteries, often found in laptop computers, differ from
primary lithium batteries, which are often used in cameras. Some newer
AA-size batteries are also primary lithium.
While there is no explosion hazard associated with either kind of
battery, the Federal Aviation Administration has studied fire hazards
associated with both primary and lithium-ion cells, and their extensive
research is publicly available. As
a result of this research, the FAA no longer allows large, palletized
shipments of these batteries to be transported as cargo on passenger
The research also shows that an explosion will not result from
shorting or damaging either lithium-ion or primary lithium batteries.
Both are, however, extremely flammable. Primary lithium batteries
cannot be extinguished with firefighting agents normally carried on
aircraft, whereas lithium-ion batteries are easily extinguished by most
common extinguishing agents, including those carried on board
TSA has and will continue to work closely with the FAA on potential
aviation safety and security issues, and TSA security officers are
thoroughly and continually trained to find explosive threats. TSA does not have plans to change security regulations for electronic devices powered by lithium batteries.