Currently, there is a bit of a shortage on lithium these days and most all the Lithium Mines in the world are running at full capacity, as there is a challenge to make all the ion-lithium batteries for personal tech devices, military equipment, and for automobiles; Cars. Yes, cars, we find that this element makes the best batteries. So, everyone is scrambling to get more.
South Korea has just made a deal with Bolivia to invest heavily to run their mine there, as Bolivia is sitting on a literal gold mine as folks move to more electric and hybrid vehicles. There is only one problem with electric cars, and that is “what to do with the batteries when you are completed” says a well-known scientist and professor of MIT.
You see we already have a huge challenge with all the old cell phone batteries in the landfills, imagine millions of old cars with 30 full size car batteries each? Plastic liners in our hazardous waste dumps only last so long and then they leak, along with, in this case all the heavy metals and lithium and it often gets into the drinking water.
Now, an interesting bit of research has come out and shows that lithium in very small amounts in drinking water can reduce the risk of suicides. Sure, for very low traces, but anything more than that could be a real health issue, one that the future electric car industry does not wish to have addressed and I suspect lobbyists of the industry will use this report as a positive debating point for ion-lithium discarded batteries causing pollution in the water table. Please consider the implications of this serious environmental issue.
Cite: The British Journal of Psychiatry (Volume 194, Issue 5) May 2009; “Lithium levels in drinking water and risk of suicide” from Research Group in Oita University and Hiroshima International University, Japan.