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What are the key sharps regulations?

At any business or facility that handles sharps and produces medical waste, following protocols for disposal is critical to prevent fines, injuries – or worse.

Sharps are used in medical and health settings to puncture the skin and deliver medications or extract blood or other medicines and liquids. Because needles and syringes enter into the skin and make contact with blood, they are considered hazardous and must be disposed of properly to comply with state and government regulations.

Even outside of professional facilities, many users administer and draw blood at home using sharps. All of this waste is dangerous to the public and the environment.

Puncture proof containers, properly labeled waste collection bins, and proper training on disposal methods are all important steps to meeting the regulatory requirements for sharps.

Here is a review of key sharps regulations from the FDA for safe disposal.

For all at home sharps disposal and usage, you must use a puncture proof plastic container to place used sharps immediately after use. This container should never be reused and only filled ¾ of the way full so that it does not spill open or cause a stick or stab to the person responsible for handling it in the disposal process.

Check with your local community regulations on where to toss these safely-labeled containers after they are filled. Some may require a special designated drop-off location or host weekend drives for collection. Others may allow the sharps to be tossed with weekly refuse. The only way to remain compliant is to find out what the rules are in your neighborhood.

At any business or facility that handles sharps and produces medical waste, following protocols for disposal is critical to prevent fines, injuries – or worse.

When in use, biohazardous waste bags must be stored and transported in a secondary container. A secondary container can be any color and has to comply with the following:

  • Red bags placed within a puncture resistant and leak-resistant container as well as proper labeled sharps boxes with a biohazard symbol are the requirement.
  • Other information including building name and room number where the waste was generated is required.
  • Once full, the designated disposal area for waste collection at the facility is where the sharps containers should be placed. Here a waste collection company will know to collect it for hauling and destruction.

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