DO's and DON'Ts - Safe Disposal of Needles and Other Sharps Used At Home, At Work, or While Traveling
All sharps disposal containers should be:
- 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 isn’t available, some
organizations and community guidelines recommend
using a heavy-duty plastic household container (i.e.
laundry detergent container) as an alternative.
- Make sure that if a household disposal container is used, it has
the basic features of a good disposal container. (See box at
right for more info.)
- Be prepared - carry a portable sharps disposal container
- Follow your community guidelines for getting rid of your sharps
- Call your local trash or public health department (listed in the
county and city government section of your phone book) to ind
out about sharps disposal programs in your area.
- Ask your health care provider, veterinarian, local hospital
- where and how you can obtain an FDA-cleared sharps
- if they can dispose of your used needles and other sharps, or
- if they know of safe disposal programs near you.
- Keep all needles and other sharps and sharps disposal
containers out of reach of children and pets.
- made of a heavy-duty plastic;
- able to close with a tight-itting, puncture-proof lid,
without sharps being able to come out;
- upright and stable during use;
- leak-resistant; and
- properly labeled.
Best Way to Get Rid of Used Needles
and Other Sharps:
- Throw needles and other sharps into the trash.
- Flush needles and other sharps down the toilet.
- Put needles and other sharps in your recycling bin -
they are not recyclable.
- Try to remove, bend, break, or recap needles used by
another person. This can lead to accidental needle sticks,
which may cause serious infections.
- Attempt to remove the needle without a needle clipper
device because the needles could fall, fly off, or get lost
and injure someone.
Step 1: Place all needles and other sharps in a sharps
disposal container immediately after they have
Step 2: Dispose of used sharps disposal containers
according to your community guidelines.
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