DISPOSAL OF X-RAY EQUIPMENT
|Solid Waste Management Program fact sheet||
|Division of Environmental Quality Acting Director: Steve Feeler||
This fact sheet provides guidance for medical, veterinary, dental and numerous other facilities who must dispose of old x-ray equipment.
First, it is important to note that x-rays are produced only when the equipment is energized and there is no radioactive material in the equipment that can produce radiation. There are no radiation hazards if the x-ray equipment’s electrical power is turned off or disconnected.
Be Aware: There is no radiation hazard associated with old x-ray equipment, but there are potential disposal issues. Some older x-ray equipment (manufactured prior to July 2, 1979) may have cooling oil around the x-ray and rectifier tubes that contains polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This oil was used in some x-ray equipment transformers, tubes and capacitors to aid in insulation. This is considered a hazardous waste if the amount of PCBs are above a certain level. If your equipment is one of these older models with PCBs, there could be a disposal problem. An x-ray service company may be able to advise you on whether your equipment contains PCBs.
If you are trying to dispose of this type of equipment, you should contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Hazardous Waste Program for guidance at:
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176
Phone: 573-751-7560 OR 800-334-6946
There are several ways in which the registrant may dispose of radiation-producing equipment which do not contain PCBs:
- The department highly recommends that you contact one of the x-ray equipment suppliers in your area and ask them to remove the equipment.
- Sell the equipment. Another professional in need of an x-ray equipment may be interested in purchasing the equipment.
- Give the x-ray equipment away. A commercial equipment vendor may be interested in the equipment for re-sale, re-furbishing or for parts.
- Donate the equipment to other healthcare organizations or charities. There are many non-profit groups that accept donated medical equipment.
- Some additional resources for donating operational equipment include:
- The American Medical Resources Foundation
PROJECT Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment (PROJECT C.U.R.E.)
- Render the equipment non-functional. This can be done by disconnecting, altering or damaging various parts of the equipment so it is impossible to produce radiation. This is best done by a commercial x-ray service vendor. The equipment may then be recycled.
- Note: Do not smash the x-ray tube. This tube is under vacuum and glass fragments may cause serious injury if the tube is broken.
- Disposal by a waste hauler. A certified waste hauler may remove the equipment and take it to the local landfill or may want the machine for scrap recycling.
- If the equipment is very, very old a school or museum may be interested in the equipment for display purposes. You could try contacting area schools with medical, veterinary, chiropractic, podiatric, radiologic technology or dental programs.
Missouri law also requires that all radiation-producing equipment is registered with the Missouri Radiation Control Program (MRCP) within the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) regardless of the usage status (i.e., operational, not-in-use, etc.). Registration status will only be terminated when a registrant no longer possesses the radiation-producing equipment.
When a registrant is no longer in possession of radiation-producing equipment, transfers possession, or renders the equipment nonfunctional, the registrant must notify the MRCP in writing. These links provide additional information from the DHSS on this topic:
You may contact the MRCP at:
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
PO Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570