Why are CRTs a problem?

Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) were commonly used in television and computer displays, prior to the prevalence of plasma and LCD screens. CRT displays are a large contributor to e-waste, as they are exceedingly difficult to recycle. The Environmental Protection Agency in the United States considers CRTs to be hazardous waste (unless recycled), due to the large amount of lead and phosphors used in their construction (in addition a high level of brominated fire retardant). If they are not disposed of or recycled properly, these hazardous chemicals can easily be released into the environment.