Mercury-Free Hearing Aid Batteries – What Everyone Should Know

The Government of Canada published legislation that prohibits the manufacture and import of mercury containing products, including button cell batteries as of December 31, 2015.  All mercury-containing batteries are now banned in Canada.

We are all concerned about protecting our environment and removing mercury from zinc-air hearing aid batteries is a step in the right direction.  Unfortunately there can be issues that arise from using mercury-free batteries in your hearing aid.  Hearing aid users report that with mercury-free batteries their hearing aids cut in and out, the battery doesn’t last as long as a battery with mercury and the low battery warning tone plays even when the batteries are new.  These problems are not caused by any fault in the hearing aids but rather are caused by low battery voltage that can be linked to the mercury-free battery technology.  These problems tend to occur most frequently in hearing aids with high battery draw, such as power aids and hearing aids with wireless connectivity.

The hearing aid manufacturers are aware of these challenges and are responding by developing products that work successfully with lower voltages in order to minimize the likelihood of battery related issues with their hearing aids.  In the meantime, to avoid the above-mentioned problems with your hearing aid we suggest that you try a different battery manufacturer or go back to a battery with mercury if possible, until these issues are resolved by the manufacturer.

IMPORTANT UPDATE (as of September 29, 2015):  The latest generation of mercury-free battery products from two suppliers, PowerOne and Rayovac, have been tested and proven to have the same voltage level and mechanical quality as the existing standard zinc-air batteries on the market.

In this office we ONLY sell PowerOne and Rayovac batteries.

Be advised that mercury-free batteries still take longer to activate than the zinc-air batteries.  As per the battery package – FOR THE BEST RESULTS, LET A NEW BATTERY SIT UN-TABBED FOR ONE MINUTE BEFORE INSERTING INTO DEVICE.  If you forget to do this you may think that your hearing aid isn’t working when in fact the battery has yet to activate.