• Choosing and Using a Hazardous Waste Container
  • Karen

    Karen D. Hamel, CSP, WACH, is a regulatory compliance professional, trainer and technical writer for New Pig. She has more than 22 years of experience helping EHS professionals find solutions to meet EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations and has had more than 100 articles published on a variety of EHS topics. Karen is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer and hazmat technician. She also serves on the Blair County, Pa., LEPC and has completed a variety of environmental, safety, emergency response, DOT and NIMS courses, including Planning Section Chief. She has conducted seminars at national conferences and webinars for ASSE and other national organizations. She can be reached at 1-800-HOT-HOGS (468-4647) or by email karenea@newpig.com.

  • Tomas Killingtonsays:
    05/10/2017 at 1:40 pm Reply

    My wife was recently diagnosed with diabetes. She will have to use a lot of needles, so we’re looking for ways to dispose of the hazardous materials. I didn’t realize there is a labeling system produced by the UN that tells the receiver specific details about the material. I’ll be sure to share this information with my wife.

    • Karensays:
      05/11/2017 at 4:11 pm Reply

      Tomas,

      It is great that you’re thinking ahead about the safe disposal of used needles. According to the FDA, about 7 billion sharps (needles, etc.) are disposed of in the United States each year. Of that number, about than 850,000 improperly managed sharps cause needlestick injuries to unsuspecting sanitation workers and others who handle those wastes.

      What makes it difficult is that the UN shipping requirements for biomedical wastes and sharps only apply to hospitals, doctors offices and other healthcare and other business settings. They are not applicable at the home or consumer level. At the home or consumer level, sharps disposal requirements vary by state. A global medical technology company called BD has assembled a Household Sharps Disposal Guideline (www.bd.com/us/sharpsdisposalguidelines) that shows state-by-state requirements for disposing of used needles safely.

      Thank you for your email and for considering responsible disposal methods!

      -Karen

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