Each year, over 13.5 million in-home injection users in the United States generate over 7.8 billion sharps—the knowledge and resources for these individuals is an important step to ensuring proper and safe disposal.
Failure to comply with proper sharps disposal puts our communities and healthcare workers at risk for accidental needle stick injuries and the potential spread of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.
In order to properly and safely dispose of sharps at home, there are a few steps to consider:
Proper Disposal Checklist
- Sharps Container
- This can be an FDA-cleared sharps container, which is the safest option as it is made of puncture-resistant plastic. Another option, although not as safe, is a sturdy plastic container with a screw-on lid, like an empty laundry detergent bottle. Be sure to reference your State Sharps Disposal Guidelines to ensure you’re following proper protocol for your community.
- Filling the Container
- The FDA recommends filling sharps containers only 75% full to prevent injury. Failing to do so increases the risk for healthcare and medical waste employees handling the sharps container. If using a laundry detergent bottle, 50% capacity is recommended. In this circumstance, it is also important to ensure your laundry detergent bottle has a screw-on lid that is tight and secure.
- Labeling & Sealing
- Labeling your sharps container is a crucial and final step! If using an FDA-cleared container, it will have proper labeling for necessary disposal. If not, it is important to label the container “Do Not Recycle: Household Sharps” and seal it with heavy-duty tape. Neglecting to label your container presents a risk to the community and public waste employees, and can lead to fines for non-compliance. Again, it’s important to reference your State Sharps Disposal Guidelines when prepping your sharps container for disposal as some states require additional steps in this process.
While options other than an FDA-cleared sharps container exist for some states, using an FDA-cleared sharps container is the safest method.
Another convenient option is our patented and proprietary UltiGuard® Safe Pack. It is the only all-in-one solution to conveniently dispense and safely contain sharps in an FDA-cleared sharps container. UltiGuard Safe Pack is available in a variety of sizes for both pen needles and insulin syringes, and is compliant with sharps disposal guidelines in all 50 states.
Choosing UltiGuard Safe Pack helps protect our community, safeguard children and pets from needlestick injuries, and remove medical waste from the environment. Since 2015, UltiGuard Safe Pack has kept over 493 million
pen needles and syringes out of the public waste stream, protecting our community and healthcare workers from accidental needlestick injuries and the potential spread of infectious disease.
Sources: PRWeb and SafeNeedleDisposal.org