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Sharps Disposal Guidelines

Sharps Disposal Guidelines

Sharps are one of the leading sources of injuries within the medical industry. Sharps carry the potential for transmission of deadly diseases and improper disposal can lead to infection in people and the environment. The danger of sharps is so critical that there have been local, state, and federal guidelines established for the proper handling, storage, and disposal of sharps.

Professional medical waste disposal companies like Healthcare Waste Management are licensed, certified, and knowledgeable on all laws pertaining to the proper disposal of sharps and assist generators in compliance of the guidelines that are required.

Sharps Defined:

Sharps are a form of biohazardous waste that includes any item that can pierce or cut the skin and carries or potentially carries the potential for transmission of a disease.

Sharps can include but are not limited to:

Proper Handling of Sharps:

Individuals that handle sharps should wear appropriate PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and place the sharps in an FDA-cleared sharps container immediately after use. The container should be in proximity of the individual handling the sharps but not easily accessible to anyone such as a patient or visitors.

The individual handling the sharps should place the sharps in the container and make sure that the container is sealed and not over the 2/3-fill recommendation.

Proper Sharps Containers and Storage:

The FDA has a list of “cleared” containers that comply with safety rules for sharps. Containers must comply with the following requirements:

To ensure safety, sharps containers should never be filled past the 2/3 mark. Once the contents reach this point the containers should be stored:

Sharps Container Disposal

Licensed, trained, and certified medical waste disposal company like Healthcare Waste Management can coordinate pickup of all sharps containers that comply with regulations, take care of disposal, and supply the required compliance documentation.

For home-use sharps containers you can contact local hospitals or other medical facilities that have been approved to receive and dispose of appropriate sharps containers. Some facilities have in-house disposal units; however, most make use of medical waste disposal companies.  All are required to have compliance documentation to prove the sharps containers have been disposed of properly.  


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