The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finedtwo companies a total of US$31,600 for attempting to illegally export computer waste to Vietnam, according to the website Environmental Leader.
Metro Metals Corp., and Avista Recycling, Inc. have also been ordered to properly dispose of 913 discarded computer monitors.
US Customs and Border Protection agents stopped the shipment, which was declared as "scrap plastic," at the Port of Seattle in early December, the website reported.
The companies were accused of violating several federal hazardous waste management rules which require them to accurately manifest the waste shipment, notify the EPA of their intent to export the waste to Vietnam, and obtain the Vietnamese government's consent.
Many televisions and computer monitors use cathode ray tubes (CRTs) containing lead, cadmium and arsenic that can leach into groundwater if not discarded properly, according to the EPA.