recycling tv's etc.

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Baltimore County just started accepting, at one of its solid waste facilities, tv's, computer monitors, vcr's, and some other electronic things.
How much recycling is actually done to these things and how important is it to recycle them?
They always mention lead first as a dangerous substance in tv's and monitors, but it seems to me, all the lead is in the front panel of the CRT, and it can't escape to poison the earth. Even if the glass is broken, only a little surface is exposed, and I'm not sure if even the lead along that surface can escape.
As to the rest, do they clip out the transistors to recycle the germanium? How much recycling do they really do? I was told by a recycler that no one will pay for the stuff, and the counties have to pay them to come and get it. If it were really recycled, wouldn't it be worth something?
(The radio didn't say one way or the other if they would now refuse to pick up such things curbside, as they have been doing.)
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mm spake thus:

First of all, not true: think about all the solder on the circuit boards. Until manufacturers go to completely lead-free solder (ugh), there'll be plenty of Pb besides in the tube.
It's not so much a matter of the lead "escaping" (I'm guessing you're visualizing it going off into the air somehow) as leaching into water in a landfill, where it can form all kinds of lead-containing compounds that can come back to poison us. So yes, it's a real problem, not just something that some environmental bureaucrat dreamed up.
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of environmental pollutants that represent a far greater risk to health than lead in electronic waste.
Arfa
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Arfa Daily spake thus:

Well, it's all relative, isn't it? My point was that lead pollution from discarded electronics is a serious problem. If you live here in West Oakland, then you're going to be more concerned about getting asthma from all the trucks going in and out of the Port of Oakland.
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are not relative pro rata, which was my point. No one would disagree that if you get lead into your body in sufficient quantity, it's not gonna do you a lot of good. The point is that it is actually quite difficult to get lead into your body in sufficient quantity to do damage. Lead in gasoline was a good way. Lead in solder or CRT glass faceplates, is not. Tin / lead solder is a stable substance. No matter how much you run water over solder, the lead ain't gonna leach out of it in sufficient concentration to be a problem. Even if you factor in acid rain - and there's a lot less of that now that there are laws against noxious airborne waste discharges of nasty stuff like sulphur dioxide - you still have a hard job washing lead out of solder into the water table.
Europe is renowned for having committes and workgroups and think-tanks who come up with hysterical reactions to non-problems. Lead in solder is a good example. Don't get me wrong. I am not against recycling per se, but for the right reasons. Whilst on the surface, any actions that genuinely contribute to " saving the planet " are laudable, and indeed desirable, you also have to look at the other side of the coin which is often forgotten, and that is the energy budget to carry out the recycling.
By the time you have collected your goods, sorted them in a heated and well-lit worker-friendly warehouse that you had to custom build, dismantled them, recovered any reusable materials, repurified them, remanufactured them, and finally disposed of whatever is left, you may well have used more energy, and contributed more to pollution, than if you had not bothered. Just looking at lead free solder. I wonder how much additional energy is now being used worldwide, to heat all of those solder baths up another 40 degrees, heat up all those rework stations another 40 degrees, heat up all those millions of hand soldering irons another 40 degrees ? How much additional transport energy to get goods suffering from lead-free bad joints back to a repair centre, and then back to the customer ? Quite a lot I would wager, and certainly more than a few wind turbines can make up ...
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On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 00:40:57 GMT, "Arfa Daily"
[...]

[...]
Tell that to the Romans, whose much-lauded plumbing systems-- a marvel of the ancient world -- were made with lead pipes, which many historians have indicted as one of the reasons for the Decline and Fall (crazy emperors, etc.)
Aspasia
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<aspasia> wrote in message wrote:

But you see this is just the sort of unsubstantiated hearsay that perpetuates these myths, and gets the eco-crazies going in the first place. " Which many historians have indicted etc ". These people are just that - historians with an idea, not scientists with facts. All of the water in the UK was distributed by lead pipes up until a few years ago. In some rural areas, and certainly within many houses, it still is. My generation, and certainly up to mine, weren't crazy. Judging by what I see of kids now, including my own, we had a far higher level of inherent intelligence. The current craziness of the society here, could be said to have commenced with the introduction of plastic water pipes, so perhaps we should jump right on the bandwagon here, and start making all sorts of unsubstantiated claims about brain-destroying substances from oily plastics such as polythene, getting into the water supply. And just maybe, I've got something there, with all the current stuff about short term memory loss that everyone claims to be suffering from - even to the point where Nintendo or whoever it is, have brought out a memory exercising game for busy execs on the move ... !!
As far as lead in the water from lead pipes goes, again, in general, this is nonsense. I sincerely hope that for the most part, the water treatment company supply me with water that is largely pure and neutral. This will not cause the lead to break down and wash out in any quantity that is a problem. If there is anything else in the water in substantial quantity, it is likely to be some flouride compound, added by the water company, and thus representing *definite* proven, and government-sponsored pollution of the water supply with a harmful substance ( no one is really sure what the real long-term effects of poisoning people in this way are ), or calcium compounds which were in the water in the first place. As we all know, these rapidly precipitate out of the water, and coat the insides of the pipes as limescale, be them copper or lead. Once this has occured, there can no longer be even any perceived threat, let alone a real one, from the lead that the pipe is fundamentally made from.
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aspasia wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_acetate
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On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 13:47:46 GMT, "Michael A. Terrell"

Thanks also for this link.
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<aspasia> wrote in message wrote:

introduced to a foodstuff that the Romans were consuming, not to lead pipes dissolving as a result of drinking water passing through them ...
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On Fri, 20 Oct 2006 01:08:32 GMT, "Arfa Daily"

talk about whether the pipes were earthen or lead -- hasn't there been any serious archeology, digging up said pipes for analysis?
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<aspasia> wrote in message wrote:

That's an interesting point. I'm sure that someone will find some. I'm almost willing to bet that any such pipes turned up, would be nearly as good as the day they were buried. I'm going away for a couple of weeks in a day or two, but I'll flag the thread, and have a look when I get back ...
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On Fri, 20 Oct 2006 08:50:01 GMT, "Arfa Daily"

From what I have read, the pipes will be coated with a thick coat of limestone scale and that would effectively sequester the lead. BTW there are still lead pipes in water systems in the old US cities in the North East. (insert blue state joke here). Copper piping systems were sweated with lead until fairly recently too.
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I'm sure the locals would have dug them up a thousand years ago. After all, they stripped the pyramids and Stonehenge.
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<aspasia> wrote in message

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/wine/leadpoisoning.html
Lead Poisoning and Rome
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On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 15:41:58 GMT, "Homer J Simpson"

Gee, thanks -- I guess - for filling up the little free time I have! Great article.
That Encyclopedia Romana looks so fascinating, I want to follow each link!
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http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/wine/leadpoisoning.html
Arfa
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On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 00:40:57 GMT, "Arfa Daily"

Lead free solder! Does this mean I have to stock up on leaded solder, for my own use?

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wrote:

diktats of the lead-free solder eco-police ... Commercial items originally constructed with leaded solder, need not be - and indeed *should* not be - repaired using lead-free. Go for it fella !!
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On Fri, 20 Oct 2006 20:52:50 GMT, "Arfa Daily"

But that means they should still be selling it a few places, probably at a higher price, for use at home. Right?
It's hard to know how much is needed to stock up. It's getting hard to buy double edge razor blades. Not twin edge, but the standard double edge for the standard safety razor that's been in use for 60 to 100 years. So I just bought over the internet 200 for 20$. It's especially hard to say how long that will last, because I haven't shaved for 10 years except my neck, and sometimes not even that. But if I lose enough weight, I'm going to take off my beard, and who knows how long I'll live or how many blades I'll need each year?

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