Sen. Richard Blumenthal to Tour Button Battery Tech Startup, Landsdowne Labs at Fairfield University, Oct. 7

Sen. Richard Blumenthal to Tour Button Battery Tech Startup, Landsdowne Labs at Fairfield University, Oct. 7

Landsdowne Labs, located at Fairfield University’s School of Engineering, aims to commercialize novel battery technology designed to avert serious injury and death if button batteries are swallowed.

Media Contact: Susan Cipollaro,, 203-254-4000 x2726

Landsdowne Labs and Fairfield University will host button-battery safety advocate Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on a tour of Landsdowne Labs’ research facility on Friday, Oct. 7 at 9:30 a.m.

Landsdowne Labs, located at Fairfield University’s School of Engineering, is nearing commercialization of technology which, when applied during the manufacture of button batteries, aims to avert serious injury and death when button batteries are swallowed.

Senator Blumenthal introduced and led the passage of “Reese’s Law” which requires the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to regulate the packaging and enclosures of  “button” or “coin” batteries used in millions of consumer devices. The tiny batteries cause serious injury or death in thousands of children, elders, and pets who swallow them each year.


WHAT: Tour and Remarks

WHEN: Friday, October 7 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Landsdowne Labs

Fairfield University, School of Engineering
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT

Parking is available at the Kelley Center Parking Garage, near the North Benson Rd. gatehouse.                                                                      


With reports of a recent sharp rise in child ingestion of button batteries, Landsdowne Labs, LLC, a startup in Fairfield, Conn. aims to commercialize novel battery technology designed to avert severe injury or fatality if button batteries are swallowed.

The patent-pending technology, under development by Landsdowne Labs, originated in the laboratories of Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and of Jeff Karp, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston.  

The technology involves an innovative coating aimed at halting chemical reactions when batteries come into contact with aqueous environments such as the esophagus—thus reducing risks of chemical burns, permanent tissue damage to internal organs, or death, if batteries are swallowed. The earth metal niobium is a key component of the coating.

Button Battery Injury Statistics:

Recently published data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System reveal that, from 2010-2019, a child presented to a US Emergency Department with a battery-related complaint every 75 minutes; approximately 85% of these cases involved button batteries. This frequency is more than double that reported between 1990-2009, according to an August 29 article published in the journal Pediatrics.

In 2019, nearly 3,500 button battery ingestions were reported in the US, the majority involving  children under age 6, according to the National Capital Poison Center.  The number of ingestions may well be higher. A 2021 survey of physicians who manage foreign body-ingestion, the Global Injury Research Collaborative demonstrated that many button battery injuries and their complications are not reliably reported to any data source.

Button Battery Market:

Currently, some 10 billion batteries re sold every year, worldwide; with burgeoning sales of battery-operated household items such as remote controls, key fobs, scales, flameless candles and toys, button batteries are the fastest growing segment of the battery market.

Reese’s Law:

In August 2022, the US Congress passed legislation known as “Reese’s Law” to help prevent battery ingestion by children.  The legislation was named after Reese Hamsmith, an 18-month-old, who died after ingesting a button battery from a remote control. It requires that the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulate products containing “coin” or button cell button batteries—mandating consumer warning labels and child-resistant enclosures for such products. Australia previously put forth regulatory standards.

Fensterstock Quote:

While Landsdowne CEO Melissa Fensterstock applauds the new legislation, she points out that warning labels and initially child-resistant enclosures “cannot always prevent children from swallowing batteries—especially if product compartments become weakened with sustained use. Therefore, the need for safer batteries is critical.”

About Landsdowne Labs:

Landsdowne Labs, Inc., formed in 2017, is a spinout from the world-renowned Robert Langer Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Jeff Karp Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston. The company’s first product, ChildLok, is an innovative button battery technology designed to deactivate batteries following accidental ingestion, made possible by advanced material science. Landsdowne Labs is commercializing this groundbreaking technology for global companies seeking a turnkey, low-cost solution to the growing button battery health crisis. Landsdowne is headquartered in Fairfield, Conn. Learn more at

Posted On: October 6, 2022

Volume: 54 Number: 25

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.