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Global E-Waste Crisis: Millions of Televisions will become obsolete by 2009

IN 2009, the United States will switch from analog to digital television, a move which will make millions of televisions obsolete. Non-governmental organizations are calling on consumers to stem the potential flood of toxic electronic waste (e-waste) by asking manufacturers to take back their obsolete products and ensure that they are recycled safely and responsibly. Their concerns also extend to the health of workers exposed to these products. Hazardous chemicals such as mercury and toxic brominated flame retardants threaten the health of those workers and their communities, according to concerned e-waste civic advocates. Annual releases of Mercury and brominated flame retardants are among the pollutants tracked under the reporting requirements of the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR). As of 7 October 2008, the PRTR Protocol had been ratified by the European Community and nine other United Nations member States.

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