Page 2 - Chehalis Tribal Newsletter - May 2015
P. 2
Sharps continued from Page 1 Easter continued from Page 1

Unfortunately, many sharps used
outside of a doctor’s office or
hospital are thrown in the household
trash, and that’s hazardous.
FDA warns that:
„„Loose sharps should never be

thrown away in household or
public trash containers, toilets or Examples of “Sharps”
recycling bins and

„„A person who is accidentally pricked by a discarded sharp is at risk of
exposure to such blood-borne viruses as hepatitis and HIV.

„„Message aimed at patients, caregivers.

The California Sharps Coalition, a group of organizations focused on the
safe disposal of sharps, told FDA it believes that most people hurt by a
discarded needle or other kind of sharp do not report the injury.

Even if injuries do not cause infection, they can have significant
psychological and financial impact on the person who has to be tested and
may wait days or weeks to know if he or she has contracted a disease, the
group says.

Janesia R. Simmons, a public health advisor in FDA’s Center for Devices
and Radiological Health, says that people using sharps often do not know
the safest way to dispose of them. “In addition, family members and other
caregivers who are taking care of someone in their home may not know
what to do,” she says.

Simmons says FDA’s message primarily targets patients and caregivers.
The agency recommends that used sharps be immediately placed in a sharps
disposal container.  FDA-cleared sharps containers are generally available
through pharmacies, medical supply companies, health care providers and
online. These containers are made of puncture-resistant plastic with leak-
resistant sides and bottom. They also have a tight fitting, puncture-resistant

If an FDA-cleared container is not available, some organizations and
community guidelines recommend using a heavy-duty plastic household
container, such as a laundry detergent container, as an alternative.

Disposing of sharps containers

There are a number of ways to safely dispose of the sharps containers. 
When the sharps disposal container is about three-quarters full, follow
your community waste guidelines for disposing of the container. These
guidelines vary depending on where you live. Local trash collection
departments or health departments may have information about sharps
disposal programs. In general they include:
„„Drop boxes: Collection sites are located at doctors’ offices, hospitals,

pharmacies and police or fire stations.

„„Hazardous waste sites: Public collection sites for hazardous materials
(e.g., paints, cleaners and motor oil) may also accept sharps containers.

„„Residential pickup programs: Some communities have pickup services

for waste that includes sharps containers. Continued on Page 9 Golden Eggs Winners.

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