Lancets, pen needles, insulin syringes, knives, scalpels, razors and scissors are all examples of sharps used in health care. Sharps are particularly important in diabetes care. Lancets are used to poke the finger or arm for blood glucose testing. Pen needles on insulin pens and insulin syringes deliver insulin into the body.
Always place used sharps in an approved sharps container, never just in with your garbage. Sharps containers are made of hard puncture-resistant plastic, and are usually marked with a biohazard symbol. They are available at many pharmacies.
Many public bathrooms have sharps disposal containers that you can use when you are away from home or travelling.
Sharps containers should only be filled to the three-quarter mark before being sealed with the lid provided. Once it is sealed, never try to re-open the container. This could result in an injury.
Place the sealed container in a plastic bag and take it to a local pharmacy for disposal. Ask whether your pharmacy offers this service, as many are set up with a disposal system. Most Safeway pharmacies have this medical waste disposal program in place. Customers receive this service free of charge. (It is costly to disintegrate used sharps.)
A biohazard waste management company picks up and disposes of used sharps in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. If you plan to take used sharps to a pharmacy, note that they must be placed in an approved biohazard container. Used sharps in plastic bags, coffee cans, glass jars or other containers will not be accepted.
A number of companies make sharps containers, which are available at pharmacies. Two of the most popular are BD and Monoject.
Your Safeway pharmacy team is happy to advise about proper and safe disposal of used sharps. For more information on this or any other aspect of diabetes care, just ask.