Panasonic eliminates lead in plasma TVs

Posted by Mark Raby

Tokyo (Japan) - Today, Panasonic announced that for all of the new Plasma Display Panels (PDPs) released in 2006, none of them contained lead oxide, claiming it has become the world's first company to achieve such a milestone. The electronics manufacturer says that with the elimination of lead, the displays don't weigh as much, and are more environmentally friendly, without compromising picture quality.

The conventional way of producing PDPs required lead oxide glass for a handful of the components inside, and other "structural elements", according to Panasonic. It's also crucial for getting the best possible picture quality by optimizing the softening points of each material in the display.

However, Panasonic has circumvented this need by developing new materials that have the same sort of characteristics and reliability as lead oxide, without actually using any lead.

Panasonic says that it started using this process in spring 2006, with the introduction of its first new plasma TV lineup for the year. Since then, the company claims it has avoided the use of lead products for all new 2006 models, even including the 103" plasma HDTV it showed off a few months ago.