Sharps Waste Disposal & Container Disposal

MWR provides sharps waste disposal and sharps container disposal services in Michigan. We provide safe services that reduce injuries and cost!

Sharps Container Disposal & Waste Disposal

Sharps disposal is strictly monitored by the FDA and other local organizations. The FDA has designed proper policies and designated special containers for the removal of sharps to ensure safety. We provide healthcare facilities with special containers for sharps and several kinds of medical waste disposals. It is essential to ensure proper sharps disposal in hospitals and other places for the safety of healthcare workers and rest of the staff.

What Are Sharps?

Food and Drug Authority USA (FDA) defines sharps: “Sharps is a medical term for devices with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut skin.” They could be used in daily life at homes, work, and hospitals to manage people suffering from different diseases like allergies, diabetes, osteoporosis, hepatitis, AIDS, etc.

Sharps can technically be anything that can pierce the skin and come in contact with your blood. Sharps at healthcare facilities are of utmost care as they contain blood or various body fluids from patients. While people commonly think that only needles are classified as “sharps,” FDA mentions other materials that should be considered sharps waste disposal.

What Is Included In sharps?

The FDA has presented a list of materials that should be considered sharps and discarded carefully. Items that require sharps container disposal include:

Syringes: Devices either used to withdraw blood from a patient or to inject a drug. Syringes are the most prevalent risk of disease transmission if waste disposal is not handled properly.

Needles: Hollow needles used by healthcare practitioners to inject medicine under the skin.

Lancets: The needle containing “fingerstick device” used in bloodworks often associated with diabetes.

Infusion sets: Tubing bags and needles used to provide medicine to the patient.

Connection sets: Tubing sets connected with needles to transfer fluids to and from the body, particularly for patients on dialysis.

All the materials mentioned above, along with auto-injectors, are eligible for sharps disposal according to FDA. However, scalpels and broken vials or ampoules should be placed into sharps container disposal.

Why Should We Ensure Proper Sharps Disposal?

The need for vigilant disposal of material used to touch/distribute blood or body fluids from infected patients should not require justification. However, the need was determined at the risk of a huge health disaster in the 1980s.

States along the East Coast were in a dilemma when the management found medical waste on the beaches. After which, the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 was established. The Act ensured the separation, packing, and storage of medical waste on specific standards. Organizations that failed to follow the rules face fines and penalties. The Act started in four states, but now all fifty states have their own set of laws. Companies and healthcare facilities in Michigan also follow the designed laws regarding sharps disposal Michigan.

Which Places Require Sharps Disposal Containers?

The FDA suggests taking care of sharps’ disposal everywhere sharps are used, including hospitals, homes, offices, schools, and even while traveling. They can harm humans as well as pets. The guidelines for the disposal of sharps related to pets are the same as for humans. Improper disposal of these sharps can potentially harm workers, janitors, house helps, and children at home.

Diseases That Spread Commonly Through Sharps

Sharps can transmit any disease that spreads through contact with blood or other bodily fluids, yet a few have been reported more than others.

Commonly spread infections through careless handling and disposal of sharps are:

  • AIDS
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Sharps Waste Disposal In Healthcare

Sharps should not be thrown into the bins or in plastic bags and should instead be disposed of very carefully. Sharps are treated in an autoclave by using high pressure for 15-20 minutes to kill the viruses and bacteria. Some companies use incinerators to destroy unwanted, possibly harmful components of waste.

Which Containers Are Used For Sharps Disposal Michigan?

Sharps container disposal system in Michigan is quite regulated, and the special red-colored “Biohazard” labeled containers are an essential part of the system. Some specifications of the sharps disposal containers are as follows:

  • Rigid containers made of high-quality plastic
  • Star-shaped opening on the top that prevents spills
  • Constructed of puncture-proof material
  • Labeled as “Biohazardous
  • Bins are large enough not to be emptied frequently or discarded
  • Easy to determine when the bin is full

What Is The Future Of Sharps Disposal Containers?

New studies are being conducted to develop containers that can provide more benefit and less burden on the environment. The new versions include the spill-free star-shaped openings to eliminate the slightest chances of a spill. Other modifications include those with multiple levels that separate the new waste from the previous container.

Which Other Guidelines Should Be Followed For The Disposal Of Sharps?

Placing the containers in healthcare institutions, workplaces, or public areas is not enough if not handled cautiously. A few factors must be kept in mind regarding sharps waste disposal:

  • No other person should touch or remove the container
  • The container should not be filled beyond indicated marking
  • Only authorized person from a sharps waste management company Michigan should be allowed to dispose of the waste
  • The containers should be accessible to the healthcare practitioners

What To Do If You Come Into Contact With Sharps?

According to the FDA, if your skin accidentally comes in contact with sharps, wash the area immediately with water, or use an antiseptic such as rubbing alcohol. Contact a healthcare professional right away.