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.

Read More

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.

Read More

How to Make Money Recycling Medical Scrap

How to Make Money Recycling Medical Scrap

Write here...

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.

Read More

A Brief History of Platinum

A Brief History of Platinum

Because platinum wasn’t used widely in jewelry or industry until about 100 years ago, it seems like a “new” precious metal. That’s not really true.  In about 700 B.C., Egyptian artisans were using it to make ornamental objects, like the famous and mysterious Casket of Thebes.  And at the same time, pre-Columbian artisans in South America were fashioning it into small trinkets. Those are only a few fascinating facts about this beautiful, tarnish-resistant, and durable precious metal. Here’s a quick timeline of its fascinating history.

Read More

Platinum, Miracle Metal, Finds New Medical Applications

With every year that passes, platinum is finding more and more medical applications. Let’s explore them in today’s post.

Interventional Devices

Because platinum is biocompatible – not rejected by the human body – it is a metal of choice for cardiac and other stents that are left permanently in the body. It is also widely used in implantable defibrillators, pacemakers, and neuromonitoring devices used to control Parkinson’s and other disorders. As America’s population ages, the demand for those devices is increasing.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be recycled profitably for your organization by Specialty Metals.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be recycled profitably for your organization by Specialty Metals.

Orthopedic Devices

Because of its biocompatibility and ability to be formed into a variety of shapes that range from plates to wires to large components, platinum and platinum alloys are metals of choice for implantable devices that include hip and knee implants, plates and screws that are used to stabilize broken bones, and devices that are used to stabilize or support the spine.

Surgical and Testing Applications

Platinum is an excellent conductor of electricity too, making it a first choice for equipment that is used to test cardiac functions. Platinum is also used in wires and catheters that are used to monitor arthroscopic, ophthalmic, and other surgical procedures.

Cancer Medicines

And here’s a surprise. Over the last 50 years, a number of platinum-based medicines have been developed to fight ovarian, testicular and other cancers. One such medicine, Cisplatin, has been in use since 1977. Another cancer drug, Satraplatin, is being evaluated for treatment of prostate cancer. These medications work because platinum inhibits cell division, so cancerous cells can be stopped from reproducing as aggressively.

Demand for Platinum to Remain High

The strong demand for platinum in healthcare applications, coupled with its relative rarity in nature, means that the demand for your recyclable platinum will stay strong. If you would like to know more about using our refining services to unlock the dollar value that is hidden in platinum recyclables, call us at 800-426-2344.

Related Posts:

New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies

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
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
3 Things You Probably Never Knew about Platinum Sponges


Are Recyclable Precious Metals Hiding in Your Hospital?

If you’re a hospital administrator, are you overlooking quantities of cadmium, gold, and other precious metals that you could refine for a lot of money?

If you don’t want to let precious metals slip through your fingers, here’s a checklist to keep on hand . . .

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.
  • Old electronic equipment that you are about to discard could contain quantities of gold (in circuit boards), platinum (in thermocouples that measure temperature or electrical activity remotely), in monitors, and elsewhere. Even if you are distributing new tablet computers to your staff, don’t discard old ones; they could contain more gold on their circuit boards than you expect.
  • Used and unused testing supplies like catheters and testing probes could contain valuable quantities of platinum, palladium, cadmium, and other precious metals.
  • Old x-ray and unused x-ray films contain quantities of silver that can be extracted by a qualified precious metals recycler. Older solutions that were used to develop x-ray film can contain recyclable amounts of silver too.
  • Specialty back-up batteries that were installed in older equipment can contain precious metals.
  • Laboratory crucibles, tongs, and other equipment are often made of platinum.
  • Catalytic converters that are installed on gas and diesel-powered back-up generators contain platinum, palladium and rhodium. If you’re replacing those catalytic converters or your entire back-up power system, don’t let those metals slip away.
  • Decommissioned vehicles, like patient transport vans and ambulances, contain precious metals in many places – in their catalytic converters, in onboard computers, and on printed circuit boards.
  • Old photovoltaic solar panels that you are replacing could contain large quantities of silver – do not allow the company that is installing new panels to simply haul your old ones away.

Those are only a few of the places where precious metals can be found in hospitals. If you take the time to review today’s checklist, you could discover that precious metals are “hiding in plain sight” in your facility.

Related Posts:

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
Recycling Opportunity: More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before
Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies


Recycling Opportunity - More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before

A revolution is taking place in medical technology, with new equipment and new technologies being introduced weekly. If you’d like to get a quick glimpse of what’s taking place, spend a few minutes scrolling through the entries on MedGadget.com. There, you’ll find announcements of hundreds of new medical products and technologies that are coming to market.

Here’s a sample . . .

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals like platinum, silver and gold that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed
  • Intuitive Surgical just introduced a new version of its Da Vinci surgical machine that will allow a wider range of operations to be performed robotically.
  • Withings has developed a new blood pressure monitoring cuff that sends its readings wirelessly to iPhones and Android devices.
  • Toshiba is launching a compact ultrasound machine that can roll into tighter spaces in hospital rooms.
  • Biotronic makes a new pacemaker that wirelessly sends electrograms to cardiologists.
  • Scientists are developing biodegradable batteries that will dissolve after they have powered devices that are implanted in the body.

And would you believe, all those things were announced on MedGadget.com in just that last 10 days?

Every New Piece of Equipment Makes an Older One Obsolete

The result of all that change is that over time, a lot of older pieces of medical equipment are becoming obsolete. As improved implantable defibrillators come to market, for example, older models get returned to their manufacturers for recycling. As new ultrasound and medical imaging systems come into widespread use, older equipment is no longer needed. Some of it gets put into containers and sent to countries where it is needed. Some of it gets scrapped. And some of it contains valuable quantities of platinum, silver, gold and other precious metals.

Do you work in a hospital, radiology center, or another facility where older equipment is about to become obsolete? If so, that equipment could contain quantities of gold that are worth recycling. Or do you work in a testing center where your stocks of unused cardiac catheters are no longer needed? If so, what will become of the precious metals that they contain? Even the sensor tips of electrophysiology (EP) catheters contain platinum that can be profitably recycled.

If you own older medical equipment or supplies and don’t know about what they are worth, we’re here to help you. Call Specialty Metals at 800-426-2344, tell us what you have, and we’ll be pleased to explain the profit potential for recycling your used laboratory equipment.

Related Posts:

New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies
Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware

 

 

New Applications for Precious Metals Keep Demand and Prices High

Precious metals have been around for a long time. Long before the Common Era (in other words, year zero on our calendar), ancient people were adorning themselves with silver and using gold to fill teeth. Even the more “modern” precious metals – metals like platinum and rhodium – are pretty old. They have been around for 150 years or more.

Photo of solar panel production, which uses sputtering targets that could contain valuable gold, platinum, silver, palladium and rhodium.

Photo of solar panel production, which uses sputtering targets that could contain valuable gold, platinum, silver, palladium and rhodium.

Given the age of precious metals, you’d think that they would be on their way out – that modern materials would have taken their place. You’d imagine that some kind of space-age ceramic would have taken the place of gold in circuit boards, or that a long-chain polymer or some other gee-whiz chemical would have replaced platinum in catalytic converters or in medical-testing devices. But that hasn’t happened. In fact, the precious metals that we refine here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners are finding new uses all the time, and demand remains strong.

Gold Cosmetics

There are reports that ancient people – the rich ones at any rate – applied gold to their skins, both as makeup and as a remedy for various skin problems. That trend has resurfaced in recent years, with a number of companies introducing skin creams and treatments that contain gold. You can read about it in The New York Times.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be profitably recycled by Specialty Metals.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be profitably recycled by Specialty Metals.

Platinum Materials Used in Medical Testing

Patients today are undergoing more electrophysiology (EP) studies than at any time in the past. It is not uncommon for hospitals to perform hundreds or thousands of these procedures every year. The boom has triggered a surge in the manufacturing (and recycling) of platinum EP catheters, catheter tips and other supplies. Even veterinarians are conducting tests with these catheters today.

Platinum Thermocouples

The use of platinum and other noble metal-containing thermocouples is increasing on production lines and in laboratories. Wherever temperature must be measured or monitored, a precious metal is probably involved.

Gold in Cellphones and Other Electronic Devices

As you might have noticed, just about everybody is carrying a smartphone these days. Plus, all those people replace their phones every few years. All those phones contain gold on their circuit boards, so gold is always in demand. Then there are all the other electronic devices that are now part of our lives – laptops, tablets, televisions with remotes, GPS devices, and more.

Silver in Sputtering Targets and other Industrial Applications

You would think that the demand for silver would be dropping. It’s a precious metal that tarnishes easily, after all. But that’s not the case, because silver has a lot of new uses. In some sputtering targets, it is used to create a bond between the substrate and the metal above it – the one that will be used to coat other surfaces. Silver is also important in a many alloys. So the demand for silver remains strong.

Junked cars contain more precious metals than just platinum in catalytic converters, including gold in circuit boards that Specialty Metals can recycle.

Junked cars contain more precious metals than just platinum in catalytic converters, including gold in circuit boards that Specialty Metals can recycle.

Platinum in Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters have created a staggering demand for platinum – a demand that has arisen in only the last 40 years, since the use of catalytic converters became widespread. If you think this demand will go away because of electric cars and other innovations, you could be right. But that is not going to happen for another 40 or 50 years.

High Demand for Precious Metals Keeps Prices High

Those are just a few of the reasons why the precious metals you can recycle are so much in demand, and why prices are so strong. To recycle what you have and received today’s top prices, give Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners a call at 800-426-2344

Related Posts:

A Fast, Fascinating History of Metals like Gold and Silver

Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal

3 Simple Steps: How to Find the Best Gold Refiner

How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company

Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies

On January 21st, a post on this blog described the value that’s hidden in used and surplus Electrophysiology (EP) catheters that are left over from medical test procedures. As we noted, “Electrophysiology (EP) studies are becoming far more common – tests that monitor the electrical activity within a patient’s heart to determine the cause of arrhythmia and other problems.”

We didn’t mention that veterinarians are now using larger quantities of platinum EP catheters in their practices too, and that those vets can recycle them for more money than they might expect. How much money? As we go to press with this post, platinum is trading for $1,435.00. That figure should serve as a reminder of how foolish it can be to discard EP catheters instead of recycling them with one of America's best platinum refiners.

Image for “Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies like EP Catheters” Specialty Metals blog post

The Boom in Veterinary Testing

If you’re a vet, you already know that many pet owners today want to give their pets the most advanced treatments available. Dogs and cats are being treated for diabetes, blood disorders, cardiac issues, joint diseases, epilepsy, and more illnesses. It seems that people want their pets to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life while they do. And when a pet is entering its final days, some pet owners are even sending their animals to veterinary hospice centers.  

As a result, cardiac and other tests that were once given to human patients only are now being administered to animals in veterinary offices.

If you’re discarding your used testing supplies, you could be discarding money too. If you call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344, our consultants will be happy to help you create a plan to turn your used EP catheters into dollars.

Related Posts

New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use – and Platinum Recycling
Demand for Precious Metals Increases with Widespread Healthcare Changes
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment

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.

 

Related Posts

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
New Nelson Mandela Coin Could Make Platinum More Valuable

Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables

If you’re looking at a large number of recyclable items, here’s a suggestion that can put a surprising amount of money into your company’s coffers . . .

Look at the tips of wires and thermocouples and test the precious metals that are hidden there!

If you snip those tips and send them to a qualified precious metals refiner, chances are good that you will get more money from them than you thought possible. There’s a simple reason. Tips contain precious metals because they’re “where the action happens” with testing equipment that monitors heat, chemical activity, or electricity at remote locations. Tips measure things, and the information they gather can be conveyed to remote shutoff valves, monitoring gauges, computer consoles, and other pieces of equipment.

Let’s take a look at where some dollars could be hiding in the kinds of tips that you have on hand.

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.

Used or Surplus Medical Testing Supplies

As we’ve noted before on this blog, the sensor tips of electrophysiology (EP) catheters contain platinum that can be profitably recycled. Used sensors can be recycled and refined, but if you are in the medical testing field, you also know that a number of catheters go unused in tests and end up in the recycling bin. Don’t let them stay there – recycling and refining platinum is worth a lot of money.

Photo showing the kind of gas appliance that uses a thermocouple wire that contains valuable precious metals that can be recycled and refined.

Appliances

Stoves, furnaces, water heaters and air conditioners, contains sensing wires that have tips that could contain quantities of copper, nickel, and even platinum, which is currently trading at nearly $1,400 on the London Fix. So snip those tips and send them to us – you could be in for a very pleasant surprise.

A Variety of Production Line Equipment

If welding, heating, or chemical reactions take place on your production line, chances are that you’re monitoring those operations remotely. And when that monitoring takes place, thermocouple wires of some kind run from your production line to gauges or consoles that are located some distance away. Thermocouple wire tips typically contain quantities of platinum, rhodium, and even gold. So snip those tips and send them to us for testing.

Want to Turn Little Tips into Big Dollars?

Call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We're experts at recycling and refining precious metal scrap, and we can let you know just how much profit you can reclaim from your little, easy-to-overlook, very valuable tips. Why not call the right precious metal refiner today?

Related Posts

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
Interested in Thermocouples and Thermocouple Wire? Why Not Read Up Online?
How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use – and Platinum Recycling
Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling

Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters

If you’re a medical professional, you already know about the remarkable recent advances in cardiac testing. Thanks to new technology and equipment, it’s more possible than ever before to obtain detailed data about the functioning of a patient’s heart – a depth of information that was impossible to obtain only a few years ago.

It’s all due to Electrophysiology (EP) studies that are becoming far more common – tests that monitor the electrical activity within a patient’s heart to determine the cause of arrhythmia and other problems.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart.

Here are some facts about these remarkable new tests, adapted from American Heart Association guidelines:

  • EP studies can help determine whether a patient is a candidate for a pacemaker, an implantable defibrillator, ablation, medication, or surgery.
  • EP studies are not conducted in physician’s offices. They take place in hospitals’ electrophysiology labs or catheterization labs.
  • Most patients require only mild sedation to comfortably undergo EP studies.
  • During EP procedures, physicians insert a thin catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart, and then position the end of the catheter in the heart. The electrode catheter that is used, which usually contains platinum, allows physicians to send electrical signals to the patient’s heart and record the activity there.

The Boom in EP Testing

As you probably know too, patients are undergoing more EP studies than at any time in the past. In fact, a boom is taking place in the number of EP studies that are taking place. It is not uncommon for some hospitals to perform hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of these procedures every year. The result is that patients today are living longer and enjoying a better quality of life.

The boom in testing has also triggered a surge in the manufacturing of platinum EP catheters, catheter tips and other supplies. As a result, platinum is more in demand than it was before. The need for recycled platinum has also increased and the dollar value of used and recycled platinum scrap is rising steadily.

If you work in a hospital or diagnostic facility that performs EP studies, it’s a wise idea to inventory the used EP catheter tips and other supplies that you might have on hand. The demand for platinum is strong, prices are up, and you could be able to recycle and refine this precious metal for more money than was possible in the past.

How to Get Started Recycling Your Platinum EP Catheters

Don’t wonder whether you are throwing away money along with your medical waste – get a check-up from Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. Call 800-426-2344 to hear our prescription for your financial health and well-being.