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FDA Launches New Resource on How to Safely Dispose of Needles and Other Sharps

November 9, 2011

FDA launched a new website, Needles and Other Sharps (Safe Disposal Outside of Health Care Settings), for patients and caregivers on the safe disposal of needles and other so-called "sharps" that are used at home, at work and while traveling.

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HIV infected patients may receive injectable medications such as Fuzeon for treatment of HIV infection or may use different injectable medications for other medical reasons.

The website is intended to help people understand the public health risks created by improperly disposing of used sharps and how users should safely dispose of them.

Sharps is a term for medical devices with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut the skin. Such medical devices include hypodermic needles and syringes used to administer medication, such as Fuzeon; lancets or fingerstick devices to collect blood for testing, etc.

After being used, many sharps end up in home and public trash cans or flushed down toilets. This kind of improper disposal puts people, such as sanitation workers, sewage treatment workers, janitors, housekeepers, family members and children at risk for needle stick injuries or infection with viruses such as Hepatitis B and C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

For the safe disposal of needles and other sharps used outside of the health care setting, the FDA recommends the following:

DO:

DO NOT:

For additional information please see:
Improperly Discarded "Sharps" Can Be Dangerous -- Consumer Update




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