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Are You Aware of the Mercury Volumes in FPDs?


The recycling of Flat Panel Displays (FPD) poses a problem for electronic equipment recyclers as they have mercury containing CCFLs and dangerous elements and substances (i.e. , Mercury, Liquid Crystal & Cadmium).

Mercury in FPDs

Research conducted on behalf of the EU found that a typical 32” FPD TV contains 45mg of mercury. A study (2010) states lamp manufacturers have declared an average amount of mercury per CCFL being 3.5 mg, another study in 2011 found up to 3.88mg per CCFL.  With there being no widely available testing of both gaseous and liquid mercury, we can only be sure there are significant amount of mercury in CCFL FPD’s.

How are People Exposed?

FPD’s contain mercury within the CCFL backlights. Mercury is the second most dangerous heavy metal on the Periodic Table and its toxic properties are a health concern to humans and the environment. When CCFLs are damaged they create direct exposure to mercury vapour and mercury liquid, which poses a high risk to humans and the environment. It is easily absorbed through the lungs and can lead to severe respiratory tract and damage.  Similarly, skin contact with mercury may cause irritation and burning with symptoms of pain.

Occupational Limits

Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELV) are established by the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits. IOELVs are health-based, values that determine threshold exposure levels below which exposure is not expected to lead to adverse effects.

Mercury and divalent inorganic mercury compounds including mercuric oxide and mercuric chloride (measured as mercury) IOELV: 0.02 mg/m3”

National legislation may apply further limits on blood and urine of workers and air emission level also vary on a national basis.

Protective Measures

When Handling FPDs both the environment and the operators need to be protected. Ensuing their safety included using best available recycling technology. The best way to protecting your staff is mitigation of the mercury exposure risk. Remove staff from performing the hazardous task of removing CCFLs tubes in the FPDs. Using Mercury abatement filtration through carbon protecting the atmosphere as well as the wider community. 

If you treat FPD’s we can help keep your employees safe and your business more profitable.

The FPD PRO, with Donaldson Filtration, captures all hazardous materials within the machine ensuring high standards of safety in the workplace.

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