New FDA website warns about needle, sharps disposal at home

November 9, 2011

Silver Spring, MD – The Food and Drug Administration recently launched a website on how to safely dispose of needles and other sharps used outside of health care settings.

The website advises patients and caregivers on how to properly dispose of hypodermic needles and syringes used for administering medication, fingerstick devices that puncture the skin to collect blood for testing, needle systems used for infusing intravenous medicines and connection needles for hemodialysis at home.

According to FDA, used needles and other sharps can injure people and spread infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The agency recommends that anyone stuck by another person’s used needle or sharp should wash the exposed area immediately with water and soap and seek medical attention.