The real threat to the environment? Your TV!

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Michael Prather, a researcher at University of California, Irvine, warns that flat-screen televisions may be a dire threat to the climate. According to an article in the Guardian:

Manufacturers use a greenhouse gas called nitrogen trifluoride to make the televisions...As a driver of global warming, nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Air Products, one company that produces the gas for electronics, says that "very little is released into the atmosphere." Interestingly, however, a recent Air Products 'Safetygram' had this to say about nitrogen trifluoride (aka NF3):

NF3 can be manufactured, used, and disposed of in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. NF3 poses a minimal environmental hazard due to its nonreactivity and insolubility in water under normal conditions. Air Products has sponsored research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study the reactivity of NF3 in the atmosphere. Also, Air Products continues to conduct
and/or support the analysis of emissions from semiconductor manufacturing production tools.

I poked around Air Products's website for a bit but was unable to find any numbers on emissions of this gas. However, I did run across this press release from 2007, which suggests they have been rapidly increasing production of the gas.


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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