Precious Metals: What to Look for When You’re Cleaning Out a Medical Facility

Precious Metals: What to Look for When You’re Cleaning Out a Medical Facility

Whether you’re clearing out or cleaning up a hospital, a nursing home, a testing lab or a medical facility of a different kind, you have good opportunities to cash in on precious metals.

Medical facilities are home to many kinds of supplies and equipment that contain gold, silver, platinum and even cadmium.

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How Hospital Administrators Can Become Recycling Stars

How Hospital Administrators Can Become Recycling Stars

If you are an administrator at a hospital, chances are good that you have an unusual opportunity . . .

You can turn unused supplies and equipment into a significant source of income

Are you taking advantage of the opportunity to recycle all the unused precious metals that can be found in your facilities? If not, let’s find out how.

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Looking to Buy Undervalued Precious Metals? Shop at Businesses for Sale

Looking to Buy Undervalued Precious Metals? Shop at Businesses for Sale

It is easy to find businesses that are for sale. You will find them advertised in newspapers that are published near where you live. Plus, you can find hundreds of them online on BizBuySell.com and other online listings of businesses that are for sale. Just search online for “businesses for sale” and you’ll soon be looking at hundreds of them. 

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Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money Recycling Platinum Scrap

Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money Recycling Platinum Scrap

Did you know you can search for the term “platinum scrap” on eBay and find mixed platinum scrap for sale? I just tried it, and I found a bag of floor sweepings, said to contain platinum, that I could buy for $500. I found plenty of other items that were said to contain platinum too, including hard disk blanks, catalytic converters, bags of mixed jewelry findings and scrap, and old laboratory testing crucibles. So, could I buy those items, send them to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to be recycled, and make a healthy profit? It’s possible. Yet the chances of it happening are probably slim, because…

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How to Make Money Recycling Medical Scrap

How to Make Money Recycling Medical Scrap

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Valuable and precious metals are used in many medical devices. But before we explain where those metals are used, let’s answer this question: Where can you buy scrapped medical devices? The short answer to that question is, it can be difficult to obtain large quantities of used medical devices… Still, it is possible to obtain and recycle quantities of some medical devices that can offer you a good return on your investment if you send them to us to be recycled. Let’s take a closer look.

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Six Traits of the Best Platinum Refiners

Platinum is needed for the manufacturing of so many items today – thermocouples, platinum jewelry, and catalytic converters, to name a handful. But at the same time, it is one of the rarest precious metals. That combination of high demand and rarity in nature means that there is a strong market for your old platinum items.

Photo of molten precious metal like platinum, silver and gold being smelted and refined - Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners.

Yet how can you select the best platinum refiner to recycle them? Here are some traits to look for:

  1. Responsiveness – When you call a platinum refiner, you will have questions. How many catalytic converters will the refiner process at a time, for example? How can you tell how much platinum is present in the used medical EP catheters that you have on hand? A knowledgeable expert should patiently answer your questions. If the person who comes to the phone or calls you back doesn’t listen well or doesn’t think your questions are worth his or her time, you should find another refinery.
  2. Clarity – What exactly should you do with your platinum-bearing items? Should you send in a sample for testing? If so, how? If you have 500 or more catalytic converters that you would like to recycle, how can you ship them, and how much will that transport cost? An experienced precious metals refinery will be able to clearly explain procedures and “next steps.”
  3. A timeline – If you’re sending in a sample for testing, the platinum refinery should tell you when you will receive the results of that analysis. If you are sending in items to be recycled like used platinum thermocouple wire, how long will the processing take, and when will you be paid? The details shouldn’t be unclear or iffy. After all, you are dealing with quantities of precious metals that can have significant value.
  4. Experience – You want to use a refinery that has extensive experience processing the kind of items that you want to recycle. If you have catalytic converters, for instance, ask the representative how many catalytic converters his or her refinery processes every year. Also ask if you can obtain references from current customers.
  5. Professional memberships and accreditations – For example, Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and listed with Dun & Bradstreet and the Jewelers Board of Trade. We are also members of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI) and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC). 
  6. Environmental responsibility – Processing precious metals requires extreme care. Strong chemicals are sometimes used, noxious gases are sometimes released, and residues of chemicals that are left after processing must be disposed of properly. All processes should be carried out in strict compliance with federal, state, and local environmental laws. Here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, for example, we respect the environment, never cut corners, and do things right. No material sent to us ever winds up in a landfill.

Related Posts:

Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling
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Demand for Precious Metals Increases with Widespread Healthcare Changes

America is seeing a surge in the demand for medical tests, technologies and treatments. The result? Your recyclable precious metals are likely to become much more valuable and much more in demand. Here are some of the reasons why:

Baby Boomers Are Aging

Boomers – the people who are part of the immense population “bulge” that occurred between 1946 and 1964 – are now entering their later years. The result is that many more people will require more intensive medical testing and care.

A normal chest X-ray after placement of an ICD, showing the ICD generator in the upper left chest and the ICD lead in the right ventricle of the heart. Note the 2 opaque coils along the ICD lead. Image Credit: Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, FACC

A normal chest X-ray after placement of an ICD, showing the ICD generator in the upper left chest and the ICD lead in the right ventricle of the heart. Note the 2 opaque coils along the ICD lead. Image Credit: Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, FACC

The Range of Medical Specialties Is Increasing

Not many years ago, most Americans relied on one family doctor to administer a wide range of tests and treatments. Today, people are visiting specialists, urgent care centers, diagnostic testing centers, physical therapists, and alternative practitioners. The result? Again, an increase in the demand for testing and treatment equipment.

More Life-Sustaining Technologies Rely on Precious Metals

The use of medical devices that contain precious metals is increasing dramatically. Gold and Platinum are being used in catheters, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), pacemakers, stents, neurovascular devices and devices that monitor or regulate brain functions. As the demand for life-extending and life-enhancing treatment grows, the demand for precious metals is surging too.

New Technologies and Treatments Will Rely on Precious Metals too

“Worth Their Weight: Precious metals have ideal properties for medical devices,” an article that Victoria Burt wrote for Micromanufacturing, quotes Rick Campo, the President of West-Tech Materials, a leading manufacturer of materials for medical applications. Campo told Burt that researchers are now developing platinum-based inks to be used in medical testing procedures.

The result of these trends could be a further increase in demand for your recyclable gold, palladium, platinum, and other precious metals. What happens when the demand increases for any commodity that is in limited supply? As any economist will tell you, the price of that commodity will increase. That’s why this is an excellent time to recycle old cellphones, circuit boards, quantities of gold-plated scrap, used thermocouples, and other materials that contain precious metals. Call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

 

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New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use – and Platinum Recycling

Only a few decades ago, platinum was a “rare” metal in many senses of the word. It was relatively rare in nature and rare in manufactured items too.

Today, platinum is being used in a wider range of products and technologies – especially in medical products. One of the greatest growth areas? A marked increase in the use of implantable cardiac defibrillators, which provide wonderful benefits for patients who were once prone to sudden cardiac death due to ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

In the past, individuals who were at risk of death from those problems had to be rushed to hospitals to receive treatment with defibrillators (“paddles”) when periods of fibrillation occurred. Others had to remain close to large defibrillators that they kept in their homes. But thanks to the availability of implantable defibrillators, those patients can now enjoy full lives. Because small defibrillators have been implanted in their chests, they are free to go where they choose. If irregular heartbeats strike, the small devices they are wearing snap into action and provide small electrical pulses directly to their hearts that save their lives.

A normal chest X-ray after placement of an ICD, showing the ICD generator in the upper left chest and the ICD lead in the right ventricle of the heart. Note the 2 opaque coils along the ICD lead. Image Credit: Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, FACC

A normal chest X-ray after placement of an ICD, showing the ICD generator in the upper left chest and the ICD lead in the right ventricle of the heart. Note the 2 opaque coils along the ICD lead. Image Credit: Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, FACC

New kinds of implantable defibrillators are being developed all the time, but the most common consists of a small device that is implanted under the skin, often near the patient’s collarbone. Small wires made of platinum or other precious metals run from the device directly to the right ventricle of the patient’s heart.

What is the useful life of these devices? That is a difficult question to answer. Some cardiologists and their patients favor replacing older implantable defibrillators when newer, more advanced models become available. Sometimes the devices fail to function properly and need to be replaced in the early months or years of their use. Because of those variables, the service life of an implantable defibrillator can be as short as a few months, or as long as five years or more.

What Happens to Decommissioned Defibrillator Devices?

Removal or replacement of implantable defibrillators is a surgical procedure that is performed in a hospital. Often, used devices are returned to their manufacturers for proper recycling and/or reclamation of the platinum or other precious metals that they contain.

Opportunities exist for recycling the valuable metals that implantable defibrillators contain. For example, manufacturers of the devices can own quantities of platinum wire that were not needed in the manufacturing process, or they could end up owning quantities of older wire that does not meet the specifications needed in their newer products. Even physicians and hospitals can end up with quantities of wire that were not used when defibrillators were implanted, or with catheters or wires that were not selected for use during implanting procedures.

If you fall into one of those categories, you might want to be aware that your unused stock of platinum can be valuable, and well worth recycling. Remember, the platinum that you have on hand could potentially be reused in the manufacture of new medical devices that can save patients’ lives.

Call Specialty Metals at 800-426-2344 and we can help you design a detailed recycling process that let’s you reclaim that platinum, improve your bottom line and maybe even save some lives down the road.