What to Do with Old X-Rays?

If you’re a doctor or someone who regularly visits one, we don’t have to tell you how powerful X-rays are as a diagnostic tool.

Within a short time, they can show you injuries that you would never be able to see with your naked eye.

However, getting rid of old X-ray films can be tricky – most of us don’t know how to do it, especially sustainably.

Don’t worry though – we’re here to help you out. In today’s post, we are going to discuss all matters X-ray film disposal.

Can you put X-rays in the recycle bin?

Yes, you can recycle X-ray films. Since they are made of plastic and silver, they can easily be recycled to make other products. However, you shouldn’t throw your X-ray films in the recycle bin. You should leave them at dropoff sites or mail them to appropriate recycling facilities.

What do you do with old X-rays?

Before you get rid of X-rays, confirm with your doctor whether you’ll need them in the future. If you will, just place them in envelopes and store them in a cabinet. If not, you can get rid of them.

Some of the ways you can do this are:

  1. Recycling
    Over the years, several recycling facilities have been established to deal with X-ray films. For instance, in the US, B.W Recycling in Hallandale, Florida can pick up your X-ray films from wherever you’re located in the country and even pay you for the silver extracted. You can even mail your films to them if you have small amounts, particularly scraps without any image.
    What’s more, the recycling process the facility uses is up to HIPPA standards. They wash the films in a chemical solution that separates the silver. Afterward, they melt the sliver, turn it into bars and sell it to vendors. The remaining plastic is recycled as well.
  2. Donating
    Another great way to get rid of your old X-rays is to donate them to institutions that will use them for learning or creative purposes. Good choices include schools, daycares, and universities. Remember to remove any personal information from your X-rays before donating though.
  3. Crafting
    If you’re creative, you can use your old X-rays for crafts. You can use them to make stars, hearts, and even animal shapes.

How do you properly dispose of old x-rays?

After it’s all said and done, recycling is the most sustainable way to dispose of old X-rays. This is because it helps you retrieve silver; a valuable metal that takes a lot to mine.

X-ray films are hazardous

Since X-rays contain silver, they are considered hazardous. This is because silver can make you sick or even kill you when ingested- it negatively affects your eyes, skin, kidneys, and lungs. Another thing that makes these films hazardous is the fact that the analog process of taking X-rays produces further toxic waste.

So if you want to protect both the environment and humans, don’t throw X-ray films in the trash – always opt for recycling.

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