ShredQuick Blog

The Dangers of X-Ray Waste Naples Business Owners Need to Know About

A doctor sitting at a desk with a laptop placing an X-Ray into a garbage bin sitting on the desk. This image represents dangers of X-ray waste.

Laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) strictly enforce the proper destruction of medical records. For example, since X-ray films contain PHI (protected health information), they must be safely and securely destroyed. X-ray film waste products also contain high amounts of heavy metals like lead and silver, both of which contaminate the environment. 

Hazardous Waste Produced by the Analog X-Ray Process 

The analog process is an older method of the X-ray process. Even though it is highly digitized in the industry today, some companies still use this old method.

X-Ray Fixer 

The X-ray fixer is classified as a hazardous waste due to the high concentrations of silver and other toxic metals. 

X-Ray Film

X-ray films contain varying levels of lead and silver. The hazardous nature of the film is dependent on the content of contaminants. 

The Dangers of Improper X-Ray Waste Disposal 

Improperly disposing of X-ray waste has many environmental and health impacts. That being the case, it must be taken seriously by the medical business owner in Naples. 

Human Health Risks 

Silver poses human health threats, namely the development of a skin condition called argyria (i.e., silver poisoning). Human consumption of excessive amounts of silver can cause the skin to turn blue or grey. 

While argyria is not fatal and does not cause other health issues, the EPA has still labeled silver as a hazardous waste. Pouring silver that is found in X-ray waste down the drain can lead to the contamination of drinking water. 

Lead also has human health risks. Lead poisoning, unlike silver poisoning, is more dangerous and poses long-term health risks to adults and children alike. 

This type of poisoning can lead to attacks on the central nervous system in both adults and children but is more likely to be fatal in small children. Even small amounts of lead consumption that produces no obvious symptoms have been found to cause injury in multiple body systems. 

Environmental Risks 

Lead and silver both pose environmental risks, too. The former can contaminate drinking water, which allows for human health risks. Lead can also remain in the environment as dust indefinitely, and an accumulation of lead dust in the environment can cause air pollution issues. 

Silver primarily impacts aquatic systems and can cause health problems for many species of fish, which is very harmful to the environment and could lead to the collapse of many essential ecosystems. 

X-Ray Recycling Services

ShredQuick uses a HIPAA- and HITECH-certified method to destroy our clients’ confidential X-rays files securely. Plus, we will pay your rebate check when we pick up your X-rays, so you don’t have to wait for your refund. Our team also shreds your X-ray jackets as they contain confidential patient information.

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