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Best Practices for Disposal of X-ray Units

To dispose of an ionizing radiation producing machine, you must totally disassemble the unit. In most cases, it is best to contact a commercial X-ray vendor for this task. These companies sell, repair, purchase and dispose of X-ray equipment. The Department maintains a list of registered service providers/assemblers in Oregon.

To dismantle an X-ray unit, the tube-head or the control panel must be removed. If you remove the head, do not break the X-ray tube-head. The x-ray tube-head is under vacuum and if broken, it could splinter, projecting glass fragments and potentially causing injuries. 

You must notify Radiation Protection Services, in writing, of any change in inventory recorded on your facility registration. This can be accomplished simply by emailing your updates to

Most X-ray units may be disposed of in a local/municipal landfill. You should contact your local trash handler to ensure they will accept the unit. You may wish to sell the metal components for scrap.

X-ray systems manufactured before 1979 may contain oil made with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). The oil was used in some transformers and capacitors to aid in insulation. Due to the hazardous nature of the oil containing PCB, disposal becomes a regulated activity if the amount of PCB exceeds a specific level. For more information regarding PCB policy and guidance, go to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 10 web site at or call EPA's Region 10 PCB coordinator at (206) 553-1616.