What happens to medical equipment when it comes obsolete? According to some statistics, in the last five years, the number of medical electronics waste has increased by 35%. Millions of tons of medical electronics become obsolete every year. This is a huge amount of waste which is why it has become such an important issue.
Given the fact that the lifespan of medical electronics is just a couple of years, the increasing amount of medical electronic waste is not a surprise. But, what is interesting is that only a small number of people know details about medical electronics recycling. The following is a list of 10 Doubts You Should Clarify About Medical Electronics Recycling.
- What is a medical electronic waste?
Medical electronic waste includes all obsolete, discarded and outdated electronic and electric devices in medical facilities with electric parts, circuitry or battery power. Some of these devices include monitoring equipment, testing equipment, computers and different systems used exclusively in hospitals.
- Where does electronic waste go?
Unfortunately, about 70% of the medical electronic waste ends up in landfills in our country or abroad. This is a very dangerous practice because pollution is a global problem.
- Why is important to dispose of in a proper way?
Medical electronics are packed with different toxic elements. These elements don’t create any effects when the device is working properly. But, when they are left outside in landfills, there is a risk that dozens of harmful elements will reach the soil, water, and air. Mercury, beryllium, lead, cadmium and polyvinyl chloride are some of these elements.
- What medical electronics can be converted into?
The useful elements found in these devices can be used for the production of many different products. For example, the batteries found in them can be used for the creation of brand new batteries.
- Where should medical electronic waste be left?
The best idea is to use local or regional electronic waste recycling companies. Look for responsible and licensed recyclers.
- How to avoid illegal recyclers?
Sadly, there are many people who trying to make a profit from this in an illegal way. They are collecting medical electronics, but instead of recycling them they are sending them to landfills or abroad. So, before you use their services check their background, licenses, and certifications.
- What does the law say about medical electronics recycling?
The law is different in different states, but generally speaking leaving medical electronics as ordinary waste in landfills is illegal.
- What’s a trade-in program?
There are many producers of medical electronics offering trade-in programs. They are encouraging medical facilities to replace their old and unused medical devices with new ones. When they leave the old devices to them they get a discount.
- Which city is facing the biggest problem related to medical electronics?
The city of Guiyu in China is the capital not only of medical electronics but all type of electronic waste. China is number one importer of e-waste from the United States.
- Is there any place where I can get more information?
Despite the fact that medical electronics recycling is so important, it seems that information is scarce. You should contact local authorities or check their websites for more information. You can also check the EPA official website.