Panasonic Plasma TVs Now Feature No-lead Display Panels, Improved Phosphor Performance

Panasonic is an early U.S. adopter of lead-free plasma display panels 1/12/2007 3:01 AM Eastern

Panasonic Plasma TVs Now Feature No-lead Display Panels, Improved Phosphor Performance

Jan 12, 2007 8:01 AM

Panasonic confirmed that Panasonic-branded plasma TVs are the first in the U.S. market to feature lead-free plasma display panels. The display panel is the plasma TV’s glass-sealed image display device, equivalent to a cathode ray tube in a conventional television. In addition to the elimination of lead in the panel, Panasonic has made significant advances in enhancing the performance of the phosphors used to render colors on the screen.

In conventional manufacturing processes for plasma display panels, lead oxide glass is used in the dielectric layer, electrodes, glass sealant, and other structural elements. Now, as a result of advances Panasonic has made in material sciences and manufacturing processes, stable production yields can be secured without the use of lead oxide. In this way, the company has been able to eliminate all of the roughly 70 grams (0.15lbs.) of lead used in a 37in. plasma panel.

“Panasonic is committed to achieving a sustainable future through the development of environmentally conscious products,” says David Thompson, Panasonic Corporation of North America’s director of environmental affairs. “Now with this achievement, we believe that Panasonic plasma displays have outpaced our flatpanel TV competitors in an important area of environmental performance: the elimination of hazardous heavy metals—such as lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, mercury—commonly used in backlit LCD TVs and in projection TV lamps. In fact, we estimate that worldwide the elimination of lead from our Panasonic plasma panels will mean a reduction of close to 300 metric tons of lead—the approximate weight of two 747 commercial airliners—that would otherwise have been used in their manufacture each year.”

Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), commends Panasonic for being the first in the industry to eliminate lead in its new plasma TVs and for significantly reducing the energy consumed by their new models. “NRDC is very supportive of Panasonic’s longstanding record of consistently delivering some of the most environmentally friendly products in the market,” Horowitz says. “Panasonic’s leadership in this area is noteworthy and we challenge the rest of the TV industry to implement similar improvements to their products.”

Panasonic’s advanced phosphor technology is estimated to deliver 60,000 hours of use—approximately 25 years at 6.5 hours of viewing a day—before reaching half brightness. Phosphor improvements have also led to the virtual elimination of the burn-in phenomenon in Panasonic Plasma TV. Long-life products translate into lower use of environmental resources for the simple fact that they need to be replaced far less often.

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