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TV Manufacturers Get Low Grades

An environmental watchdog group says TV manufacturers aren’t doing enough to prepare for next year’s transition to all digital television. The group Texas Campaign For the Environment says millions of televisions will become unusable and companies aren’t providing a way for them to be recycled. Bill Stamps has more.


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You may like watching reruns of shows from the 80’s but if your TV is just as old it probably won’t work once the nationwide switch to digital television takes place next February. Most Americans already have cable ready TV which means they’ll be fine. But those TV’s that still need rabbit ears to pick up a signal..won’t pick up a signal…and Environmentalist are worried the chemicals in those TV’s will cause problems if they’re dumped in landfills.

“Lead and mercury are known neurotoxins. Some of the most toxic neurotoxins known. The flame retardants used in the plastics of electronics are already starting to show up in mother’s milk samples, in meat and dairy products, even in Tasmanian devils in Australia for instance.”

Zac Trahan is with the group Texas Campaign for the Environment. They’ve issued a report card on TV manufacturers and their recycling plans.

“More than half of the 17 companies that were rated on our report cards got failing grades, because they were not offering free and convenient and responsible recycling programs for their televisions. Sony scored the highest with a B-.  They were also the first to have nationwide recycling.”

Even if stores offer free recycling, there’s no guarantee people won’t just toss their old sets in the dumpster. Trahan says that’s why it has to be and easy and convenient. When people head to Best Buy to get the first season of Friends on DVD…they could simply drop off their old TV while there.

Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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