Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What's In An X-Ray? Thieves Stealing Old X-Rays For The Silver Content

The thief's hand?

We had heard about the manholes and the bronze statues. With the price of precious metals up in the clouds, thus was only a matter of time. Thieves are now stealing old x-rays.

Ottawa police have charged a Toronto man caught with 30,000 X-rays stored in 13 barrels. The man has been impersonating an employee of a recycling company.

The films were confiscated from a U-Haul truck the man was driving after a botched effort in Smiths Falls,  about 75 km southwest of Ottawa. They believe the scam was operating across Ontario.
The man had told hospitals and diagnostic clinics in the Ottawa, Toronto and London, that he worked for Environmental Control Systems, who then gave the man the X-rays.

The company, which is contracted out by most Ottawa medical centres, confirmed  the man was pretending to be one of its employees.

Police also believe the man wanted the X-rays for the silver that can be extracted from the film. New forms of X-rays also include a lower amount of about 5 grams of silver per kilogram, while old film X-rays have 12 grams of silver per kilogram.

A search on the Internet reveals many such instancesThe emulsion on an X-ray consists of silver. During the silver recycling process using a simple chemical solution, the silver is released from the emulsion.

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