Apple Warns AirTag Customers to Avoid Using Batteries with Bitterant Coating

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 29 Jul 2021

Apple has warned AirTag users not to use batteries that are coated in bitterant. The company claims that doing so could cause the AirTag to stop working. Replaceable coin-sized CR2032 batteries power AirTag.

Apple’s updated support document is titled “How to replace an AirTag battery.” The guide walks you through the steps involved in changing AirTag batteries. The AirTag uses CR2032 batteries which are readily available and can be bought from anywhere. However, Apple says batteries with the bitterant coating will not work on AirTag.

CR2032 batteries with bitterant coatings might not work with AirTag or other battery-powered products, depending on the alignment of the coating in relation to the battery contacts.

Bitterant is a coating agent that imparts an extremely bitter taste to the surface. Each year hundreds of coin batteries are ingested by children. Duracell tackles this issue by adding a bitterant coating to the coin batteries. The purpose of bad taste is to discourage toddlers from swallowing the battery.

The battery has a ring-shaped layer which has a bad taste to discourage swallowing from babies and toddlers. We are using Bitrex®, the bitterest substance in the world commonly used in household products to prevent ingestion. The bitter taste layer on the Duracell cell is non-toxic and completely harmless if consumed.

Our Take

Swallowing batteries can prove to be fatal for babies and toddlers. It is capable of causing chemical reactions when stuck inside the body. However, the layer is non-conductive, and your AirTag could stop working if the contact points touch the bitterant layer. Even companies like Garmin suggest users “reposition the battery” if in contact with the layer.

Apple claims the CR2032 batteries on AirTag can last for up to one year. Find My App notifies the users when the battery level drops. Next time you are shopping for an AirTag battery, ensure that it doesn’t come with a bitterant coating.

[via Apple Support]