Whether you’re finally modernizing or just have a few clunky Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors and televisions taking up room and gathering dust, it’s important to understand the hazards they pose, especially if damaged. So, before you decide to move one around – and if you’re thinking about disposing of it yourself – it’s important to understand the hazards, proper disposal, and things to watch out for.
Why CRT Monitors are Hazardous
While CRT monitors are fine when properly packed in storage, special care should be taken when moving them. CRT monitors are one of the most dangerous pieces of household electronics to disassemble. Know the risks before doing either:
- Risk of Electrocution: CRT monitors include a high voltage capacitor that can hold a charge long after being unplugged. The average color TV has 27,000 volts when fully charged, well over lethal level.
- Risk of Explosion: As implied in the name, the “tube” of the CTR is under vacuum. A break in the tube – which is fragile at the “neck” behind the screen, causes an implosion followed by an explosion of glass.
- Heavy Metals: CRT monitors and TVs can contain anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds of lead per unit! Color CRT may contain mercury – commonly found in many electronics – hazardous if the screen cracks.
How to Properly Handle and Dispose of CRT Electronics
When storing Cathode Ray Tube monitors, never rest the monitor down or have the monitor pressing against hard or sharp objects. Always get a hand moving larger units – their weight and size make them dangerous to handle alone. CRTs were banned from Massachusetts disposal facilities starting in 2000, so they need to be taken to municipal recycling collection programs, donated, or taken to a collection center like NEDT.
You can learn more about these options in our post, What Are My Options for Disposing of Household Products?, as well as our Fact Sheets and Links page with information on common household hazardous products
If you’re dealing with electronics disposal or hazardous household waste, we can help. NEDT’s Household Hazardous Products Collection Centers can help by providing quick and safe service for all your needs, including a pickup service! Contact us today to learn more, including everything we accept. You can also call us at 866-769-1621.