The Environmental Impact Of Three Types Of Televisions

Every year, televisions use six percent to eight percent of the total amount of electricity that is produced globally. As a result of improved technology, the devices require 60 percent less electricity to operate today than they did in 2006, but plasma displays and LCD screens contain substances that can contaminate soil and swiftly deplete the ozone layer.

LCD Televisions

Electronics that have an LCD screen use liquid crystals to control the light that is being emitted from the device. This type of television uses much less electricity than an apparatus with an LED screen, and it can operate by using the power from a battery for twice as long as a television that has a plasma screen.

The Chemicals

Despite these advantages, all LCD screens contain nitrogen trifluoride. According to a study that was conducted by the American Geophysical Union in 2008, this chemical’s negative impact on the ozone layer is three times as substantial as the effects of carbon dioxide.

Scientists have determined that the compound remains in the atmosphere for 550 years.

In 2013, researchers admitted that they did not know the full scale of the effect that nitrogen trifluoride has already had on the atmosphere because the levels of the substance are not monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Releasing Heat

A study that the EPA administered in 2012 indicates that homes with more than one LCD television had reduced costs for air conditioning because this type of screen generates approximately 35 percent of the heat that is produced by CRT televisions.

LED Screens

The acronym stands for light-emitting diode, and each television with an LED screen has a series of components that place electrons into small holes in the device in order to create photons.

The background color that an LED television produces depends on the materials that are used to manufacture the semiconductor. Devices with diodes that are made of indium gallium nitride will add a violet hue to the images on the screen, and semiconductors that are made of gallium phosphide will show pictures that have a green background.

Eye Health

In 2012, a French agency recommended a ban on LED screens that generate a bluish light because photons with this type of wavelength could damage the eyes of children who are under the age of 12.

The Environmental Impact Of Metals And Chemicals

The majority of LED screens contain a substantial amount of lead and copper, and approximately 50 percent of light-emitting diodes are made of zinc.

Unlike CRT televisions, LED screens do not contain mercury.

Plasma Displays

Plasma screens use fluorescent lamps to allow images to appear to be much brighter than pictures on an LCD monitor. The device’s bulbs have a substantially faster response time and especially elevated refresh rates that eliminate blurs when the screen shows a swiftly moving object.

Consuming Energy

In the United Kingdom, an environmental agency completed a study showing that a television with an LCD screen that has a size of 32 inches will cost $21 to operate for one year, and a device with a plasma screen of the same size would use $120 worth of electricity during the same time period.


Every plasma screen has phosphors, which are substances that can provide luminescence. There are more than 100 types of this compound, and some phosphors contain zinc and aluminum phosphate.

The screen also contains several natural gases, such as xenon, neon and argon.

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