How To Dispose of Sharps and Needles at Home Simple & Effective. Needles and syringes are medical devices that are used in various settings. Even though they may look harmless, these devices have a sharp point that is used to pierce the skin and inject medicine.
If not properly disposed of, these sharps and needles can be a source of transmitting infectious diseases.
Your local pharmacy or health department should have directions on how to properly dispose of them. There are also some ways to safely dispose of your sharps and needles at home. If you don’t have access to a sharps container, following the steps below will help you get rid of your sharps and needles safely.
What are the different ways to Dispose of Sharps and Needles at Home?
There are many ways to safely and effectively get rid of medical sharps and needles at home. The first and most obvious way is to make sure that you have an FDA approved sharps container that can hold your sharps and needles.
With most sharp devices, you should have a sharps container ready to safely dispose of your used needles and syringes. Most pharmacies and big box stores have these sharps containers available for sale.
If you don’t have a sharps container at home when you need to use a needle, there are other options available. Local regulations vary, always check your local and state regulations before using a household container. In some states you can use a household container, such as plastic detergent bottles, they can be used if heavy duty tape is used to secure the lid to the container and the words “Do Not Recycle” are written on the container with a permanent marker.
Tips When Handling Sharps
Immediately place used needles and other sharps in a sharps disposal container to reduce the risk of needle sticks, cuts, or punctures from loose sharps.
Use an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container, if possible. If an FDA-cleared container is not available, some organizations and community guidelines recommend using a heavy-duty plastic household container as an alternative.
Make sure that if a household container is used, it has the basic features of a good disposal container.
Carry a portable sharps disposal container for travel.
Follow your community guidelines for getting rid of your sharps disposal container.
Call your local trash or public health department to find out about sharps disposal programs in your area.
Ask your health care provider, veterinarian, local hospital, or pharmacist where and how to get an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container, if they can dispose of your used needles and other sharps, or if they know of sharps disposal programs near you.
Keep all sharps and sharps disposal containers out of reach of children and pets.
Seal sharps disposal containers when disposing of them, label them properly and check your community guidelines on how to properly dispose of them.
Ask your medical or prescription insurer whether they cover sharps disposal containers.
Ask the manufacturer of your drug products that are used with a needle or other sharps if they provide a sharps disposal container to patients at no charge.
Mail Back Programs
Mail-back programs may be available for individual sharps users and can also serve as a disposal method for community collection sites. Used sharps are placed in special containers and are mailed in accordance with U.S. Postal Service requirements. Please be aware that this service usually involves a fee.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration – DOs and DON’Ts of Proper Sharps Disposal https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safely-using-sharps-needles-and-syringes-home-work-and-travel/dos-and-donts-proper-sharps-disposal Accessed March 29, 2022.
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