Giving yourself insulin shots might be a new daily ritual after you are diagnosed with diabetes, but doing this creates medical waste. This type of waste is extremely harmful to the environment and to people, and you will need to learn how to properly dispose of the needles you use. Here are three things you should know about this subject.
Why it is harmful
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), direct contact with used needles can spread infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency (HIV). When needles are thrown into the garbage, anyone that comes in contact with the trash could accidentally prick themselves. When this happens, a person could easily contract a disease because of the contamination found on the needle.
This also poses risks in landfills. When needles are present, they could cause damage to equipment used to move the trash, and the medication from the needles could cause harm to the environment and to any animals that come into contact with the needles or medication.
How to dispose of your needles at home
Once you begin taking insulin shots, you will need to learn how to safely dispose of them after you use them. The needles used for insulin are considered disposable. After using a needle once, it must be thrown away.
To do this, you will need to get a container to use for storing your used needles. You can buy these containers, or you could make your own by using an old laundry detergent plastic jug. You should keep this container out of reach of kids and animals, and always try to make sure that the lid is securely in place.
Where to dispose of the needles
After getting a system in place, you will also need to find a way to get rid of your container of needles when the container gets full, and there are several options for this, including:
- Town drop box – Some cities have collection boxes for medical waste and you are free to drop off your used needles in your town drop box if it has one.
- Doctor's office – Your doctor may also offer a drop box service for used needles, and you are free to use this box if it is available to you.
- Mail service – You could also mail your used needles to a hazardous medical waste collection company. To do this, you would need to make sure you use the appropriate container when shipping the needles, and you may be able to get these containers from mail service waste companies. Your local drug store may have more information about this.
Using needles each day for your insulin shots can be a hassle, but it is something you will get used to. You will also get used to having a routine for disposing of your used needles. To learn more, contact an agency that offers medical waste removal services such as S.H Bio-Waste LTD).