Over the period of 2020 to 2021, there has been a rapid increase in the number of people who watch/purchase TVs, especially due to the massive global pandemic and most people having to isolate themselves at home. Though TVs have brought us a lot of entertainment this past year, electronics companies have been hiding a big secret that may be more dangerous than you think.
For decades, television producers have been putting toxic organohalogen flame retardant chemicals (OFRs) into their products, encased in plastic casings. These televisions are sold at major U.S. retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. Because of this, a lot of our TVs are part of a large; and growing, source of toxic pollutants in our homes, environment, and workplaces. To add more salt to the wound, they pose serious health threats.
When you dispose/recycle televisions that contain OFRs, they can potentially release dioxins which are among the most toxic chemicals known to science. Workers and people who live in the vicinity can breathe in these harmful chemicals and face medical problems. Household fires can also release these chemicals, which has led to firefighters supporting the efforts to ban flame retardants.
Though the situation may seem unchangeable, there is still hope. Best Buy; a major electronics company, has launched a chemicals policy with the goal to reduce the use of chemicals. They are heading in the right direction, even if there are still a lot of things to improve on in their policies. Let's just hope that more companies hop on the bandwagon!
Written by Amelia Halverson, Ontario, Canada