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The trouble with toxic TVs

As TV makers continue their march toward an all flat-panel future, they’re leaving a growing pile of toxic trash in their wake. With more households upgrading to sleek thin panel TVs, consumers are trashing their old tube-based models as quick as they can. The problem is, these old sets are packed with up to eight pounds of lead. Bound into the screen glass and onto circuit boards, the lead can taint ground water when the old sets are crushed in landfills.

And the flow of tube TVs into garbage dumps is set to spike this year, says Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics Take Back Coalition, as the clock counts down to Feb. 17, 2009, the date when analog TV broadcasts will be shut off forever, replaced with digital signals.