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TV CRT Safety

  1. Dec 23, 2008 #1
    I recently disassembled my Big Screen CRT projection tv. I have been well aware of the danger of the capacitors in CRT TV's and I managed to take the TV apart and remove the capacitors all without killing myself. However, I was doing some more reading online and it seems there is another danger: the phosphors on the screen and the lead in the CRT glass. I assume the lead is not a problem unless the tube implodes and pieces get embedded in your skin, correct? My main question is about the phosphors. It is only a problem if you actually touch the phosphors right? I did not touch them, but I tried to remove the glass that was covering them, and was thus working around them. What I did was the following: First I removed the 3 lenses (there are 3 separate CRT's [one for each color--red,blue,green] and there is a lens on top of each of them), then I was curious about what was behind the lenses. I saw that there was a piece of curved glass in front of the phosphor screen and so I proceeded to take it off (i.e. remove the screws that were sealing it on), I wiggled it around a little trying to get it off and managed to pull the thing up a little but I couldn't get it entirely off. I got a very strong feeling that I should not be trying to remove it and so I gave up. I never actually touched the screen, though I am a little worried since I pulled back the piece of glass that covers it. So, I am just double checking, is there anything to be worried about (other than the fact that the three CRT tubes sitting on my bed are essentially bombs waiting to implode)?

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    If it's any sort of respiratory or radiation hazard that you're worried about, relax. Neither exists. The phosphors would probably cause some damage it they got into your bloodstream, but are otherwise harmless. I'd be a lot more concerned about flying glass.
    Regardless, they should be treated with the utmost respect.
    There are medical specialists here that can tune you in better than I can.
  4. Dec 23, 2008 #3
    Thanks for the reply.
    Yeah, the only reason I was worried was because this site made it sound like the world would come to an end if I came into contact with the phosphors:
    "NEVER touch a CRT’s phosphor coating; it is extremely toxic. If you break a CRT, clean up the glass fragments very carefully. If you touch the phosphor, seek medical attention immediately" --http://www.tpub.com/content/fc/14098/css/14098_56.htm
  5. Dec 23, 2008 #4
  6. Dec 24, 2008 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Also, since the lead is toxic, you are generally required to recycle the CRT, rather than just throw it (them) in the trash. Please find a recycler near you that can accept CRTs. And yes, please be careful handling them. If you get a residual shock from the anode button and drop one, it would be very bad.
  7. Dec 24, 2008 #6
    why do people freak out about lead? eating paint chips is one thing, but the solubility is pretty low. our waterways are full of lead shot from fishermen.
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