What is the future of medical film?
Nearly a year ago we told you why film’s future availability and affordability are in jeopardy. Today, we are still seeing a decreased demand and reduced production volume of film. But there are additional concerns. The environment is suffering because of the hazardous chemical and medical waste produced from using film.
Here are some realities facing Western blotters who use medical film:
- The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) sets regulations for hazardous waste handling and storage.
- The RCRA has strict laws with authority from the EPA enforcing toxic chemical cleanup.
- Developer solutions must be neutralized and flushed with large quantities of water to the sewer system.
- Film sheets should be collected for silver recycling because silver is too toxic to go in landfills.
What are the implications?
As environmental concerns rise and the supply of film is threatened, the sustainability and future of film production are at risk. As a responsible research scientist, you are aware there are environmental considerations and financial incentives for ceasing film use and switching to digital imaging. Read about one researcher who has come to that realization.
What can you do?
Consider an environmentally-friendly Western blot imaging alternative, and:
- Eliminate your use of medical film
- Decrease your environmental impact
- Implement a more sustainable Western blotting technique
Go to bed at night without worrying if you can afford your next box of film or if you are complying with environmental hazardous waste disposal regulations. Go digital.