The Dangers of Mismanaged Silver

When you think “silver,” you might think about your mother’s jewelry before you think about all the medical tools that contain silver. The EPA lists this heavy metal as hazardous waste because of its toxicity. There are many different electronics and other equipment industries use that contain silver, and the disposal of such equipment needs to be handled with care. The disposal should be done by a company who does silver reclamation removal locally, and BWS is the destination facility in Maryland for the recovery of silver.

A doctor working with a CT Scan that contains silver.

Where Can Silver be Found?

Silver can be found in a multitude of things, like electronics and camera film. The most common place you’ll find silver is in medical X-rays. More common equipment that contain silver are:

  • CT Scan Film
  • MRI Film
  • Lithographs
  • Radiographs

Why is Silver Hazardous?

Traces of silver can be found in our food and drink, but they are so small and nearly undetectable that consumption of it doesn’t typically lead to a health complication. However, consuming too much silver can lead to a skin condition called argyria, or silver poisoning. This can lead to your skin turning gray or blue, however, this is purely cosmetic and not fatal.

Though it is not fatal for humans, it’s still listed as hazardous by the EPA, so it must be disposed of properly. Not disposing of silver properly can lead to negative side effects beyond argyria, like harming the environment and the ecosystem.

How is the Silver Removed?

Long ago, x-rays were burned and the remaining silver was collected. This method was replaced by a greener approach of “washing.” Equipment containing silver is bathed in chemicals that remove the silver safely, so the rest of the object can be disposed of properly and the silver can be re-purposed.

X-rays contain silver in them, and it’s best to treat them the same way you would treat other equipment that contain hazardous silver in them. Recovering the silver from an X-Ray will prevent toxic landfill contamination, and destroying it will get rid of confidential information, as per the overall HIPAA compliance program.

Protect Your Environment By Working With BWS, INC

To dispose of your hazardous silver waste properly, contact Broadview Waste Services for your silver reclamation removal in Maryland today. We are Maryland’s silver reclamation and removal company, and we can help you get rid of your silver properly.