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A study of mercuric oxide and zinc-air battery life in hearing aids

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2007

Clive Sparkes*
Affiliation:
Department of Audiology, 11 Ash Road, Glan Ciwyd Hospital, Bodeiwyddan, Denbighshire, Wrexham, UK.
Neville K. Lacey
Affiliation:
Activair Europe Ltd., 11 Ash Road, Wrexham Ind. Est., Wrexham, UK.
*
Address for correspondence: Mr Clive Sparkes, Audiology Unit, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire LL18 5UJ.

Abstract

The requirement to phase out mercuric oxide (mercury) batteries on environmental grounds has led to the widespread introduction of zinc-air technology. The possibility arises that high drain hearing aids may not be adequately catered for by zinc-air cells, leading to poor performance. This study investigated the hearing aid user's ability to perceive differences between zinc-air and mercury cells in normal everyday usage. The data was collected for 100 experienced hearing aid users in field trials. Users report 50 per cent greater life for zinc-air cells in high power aids and 28 per cent in low power aids. The average life of the zinc-air cells range from 15 days in high power to 34 days in low power aids. Users are able to perceive a difference in sound quality in favour of zinc-air cells for low and medium power aids. The hearing aid population is not disadvantaged by phasing out mercury cells.

Type
Main Articles
Copyright
Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 1997

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References

Cretzmeyer, J. W., Espig, H. R., Melrose, R. S. (1977) Commercial zinc-air batteries. Power sources. 6: 269290.Google Scholar
Council Directive of 18 March 1991 on batteries and accumulators containing certain dangerous substances, EEC Battery Directive (91/157/EEC).Google Scholar
Department of Health Medical Devices Directorate (MDD) Procurement specification for zinc-air primary battery type CP44. Specification No. STB/EM/IOD153 Issue 2.Google Scholar
National Health Service supplies. Dear Colleague letter. DC55/AM/TN 15th October, 1993.Google Scholar
Glover, R. J. The performance of zinc-air batteries in high- power hearing aids. Technical memorandum 95/201, 1995 Department of Electrical Engineering, Brunel University Uxbridge UK.Google Scholar
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