Here are tips for at-home sharps disposal in light of World Diabetes Day.

Diabetes is a disease that affects individuals and families across the world. The condition, which includes poor response to food and glucose use for energy, is becoming more prevalent today and advocacy to bring awareness and education on the issue is increasing.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease will affect 522 million people by 2030 and has the potential to bring on heart disease, stroke, blindness, limb amputation and more.

In light of these alarming statistics and to raise awareness and support for those living with the condition, November 14 is designated, “World Diabetes Day.”

Proper management of the disease includes daily testing and monitoring of blood glucose levels and in some cases administering insulin via self-injection with a sharp. Since blood is being drawn, proper disposal is critical to avoid public health concerns and unwanted injuries.

Here are tips for at-home sharps disposal in light of World Diabetes Day.

Keep Sharps Concealed

One of the best ways to keep sharps out of the wrong hands is to keep them tucked away in a safe place where only the designated user can access them. Think of high or difficult to access location that keeps children away but don’t place in a discreet location where someone could take them – such as a medicine cabinet where a guest using the bathroom could easily take them.

Do Not Toss in Regular Trash

Not only is it dangerous and unsanitary to toss used sharps in the open trash, but it’s also against the law in some states. There are FDA approved containers that can be purchased specifically for medical waste. You can also use containers made of very thick plastic that cannot be punctured, such as an empty laundry detergent bottle. Do not wait until these bottles are full. Instead, close the lid on them when they are just ¾ full and then toss it in the trash. Plan to take this or another safe container with you when you travel. You should never place used sharps in a hotel or public trash or recycle bin.

Know Your State Regulations

As mentioned earlier, some states have specific laws related to the proper disposal of sharps. Check with your local regulations on sharps disposal laws in your area. In some states, you may have options like a dedicated drop off location where you can bring your used sharps or there may be a hazardous waste collection option for sharps.

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