Washington: Ferries Install Bins for Used Needles
April 18, 2003
To reduce the risk of hepatitis and HIV, there are now disposal containers in all public restrooms aboard Washington state's 29 ferries, which transport more than 68,000 passengers daily. The red plastic containers, stamped with the biohazard symbol, are the same type used by hospitals, clinics and diabetics. Dennis Conklin, a spokesperson for the Inlandboatmen's Union of the Pacific, which represents 1,000 ferry workers, said the union began lobbying for the containers about five years ago. "These workers are expected to dispose of garbage, clean restrooms and empty Sani-Cans," said Conklin. "This is a way to protect them." Each year in the United States, 800,000 people are pricked by used needles, with most of the injuries occurring in hospitals and medical settings, according to studies. "People come aboard and actually go right to the [trash cans] to get the newspapers," said Shane Thrasher, a deckhand on the Mukilteo-Clinton run. "They don't always realize the hazard."Adapted from:
04.18.03; Associated Press
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.