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Product safety field staff send damaged products, such as this burnt battery pack from a defective electric scooter, to the government testing lab in Rockville, Md. Raquel Zaldivar/NPR hide caption

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Raquel Zaldivar/NPR

As Batteries Keep Catching Fire, U.S. Safety Agency Prepares For Change

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A youth poses as he rides a hoverboard, which is also known as a self-balancing scooter and balance board, last October in Knutsford, England. More than half a million of the devices have been recalled in the United States, after nearly 100 instances of the boards catching fire. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images hide caption

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The plastic sheet invented by Stanford University chemical engineer Zhenan Bao and her colleagues can be inserted in lithium-ion batteries to avoid overheating. Zheng Chen/Courtesy of Zhenan Bao hide caption

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Zheng Chen/Courtesy of Zhenan Bao

Batteries With A Less Fiery Future

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Father Albert San Jose of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish was suspended by his diocese after a video emerged of him riding a "hoverboard" scooter during Mass in the Philippines. YouTube screengrab by NPR hide caption

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YouTube screengrab by NPR

Though most hoverboards are made safely, poor quality lithium-ion batteries could be the main culprit behind the recent safety scares. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images hide caption

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Why Are 'Hoverboards' Literally Catching Fire?

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Hoverboards like the one seen here won't be allowed on flights by America's top three airlines, which are citing a potential fire hazard related to the self-balancing scooters' powerful lithium-ion batteries. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images hide caption

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images