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By Phil Helsel

The U.S. consumer safety watchdog on Friday urged the public to power down and stop using all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones over the batteries that can explode or catch fire.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission warning comes amid reports of problems with the lithium ion batteries that can occur while charging. Samsung has issued a global recall for the estimated 2.5 million devices.

"These incidents have occurred while charging and during normal use, which has led us to call for consumers to power down their Note7s," the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday urged air passengers to not charge or use the smartphones while on planes, and to not carry them in stowed luggage.

Three Australian airlines have already barred passengers from using or charging the smartphones during flights.

Samsung issued the recall on Sept. 2. At the time it said the company was aware of approximately 35 incidents involving phone batteries.

The recall resulted in nearly $7 billion being wiped off Samsung's share value this week. The phones retail at around $850. The South Korean manufacturer has launched a product exchange for Note 7 owners.