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State hopes to head off lead from trashed TVs

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POSTED: December 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.
ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health is partnering with the Georgia Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, the Georgia Recycling Coalition and others to promote reusing and recycling analog televisions which will be replaced due to the digital TV transition in February.
Because analog TVs can have up to eight pounds of lead per television, the Division of Public Health encourages individuals to recycle or reuse their analog TVs to minimize their exposure to this naturally occurring metal.
“We are encouraging citizens to recycle or reuse their analog televisions as many of these sets will end up in landfills and junk piles where they can potentially contaminate soil and groundwater,” said Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford, acting director of the Division of Public Health. “We are creating and distributing materials that will, hopefully, increase awareness about toxic lead exposure and provide information about recycling events and other recycling resources available in Georgia during the next several months.”
The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children. Long-term exposure causes muscle weakness in the hands and feet, increase in blood pressure, particularly in middle-aged and older people, and can cause anemia. Exposure to high lead levels can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults and children.
Children are most vulnerable to lead poisoning. A child exposed to a large amount of lead or repeated exposures to low levels may develop anemia, severe stomachache, muscle weakness, and brain damage. Low levels of lead can also affect a child’s mental and physical growth.
 

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