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FDA CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION - Improperly Discarded 'Sharps' Can Be Dangerous

SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many people use needles, syringes and lancets—called "sharps"—to manage their medical conditions at home.  These conditions include diabetes, allergies, infertility, arthritis, hepatitis, HIV, blood clotting disorders, migraines and cancer. Sharps are also used to give medication to pets and farm animals.


But the haphazard disposal of these devices is putting a lot of other people, including waste-disposal workers, housekeepers, family members and children, at risk of injury and serious infections.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 9 million people in the U.S. use sharps at home. Unfortunately many sharps used outside of a doctor's office or hospital are thrown in the household trash, and that's hazardous.

Learn more about how to safely dispose of needles, syringes and other sharps at

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Media Contact: Morgan Liscinsky, 301-796-0397,

SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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