As the name says, sharps are anything that consists of any tool or equipment that can penetrate or cut the skin with sharp points or edges like, needles, blades, syringes, etc. Sharps are most commonly used in the medical field and have the most wastage also. Being from the medical waste category, they can be harmful to humans and animals whoever comes to its contact. They are usually contaminated with body fluids or chemicals that can harm or infect any person who comes in contact with it or if it penetrates in the skin. They pose a threat to healthcare workers and other patients if the used sharps are not disposed of properly.
These sharps should never be put into general dustbins or garbage, instead, they should be disposed of using special containers. Many companies provide these medical sharps container for disposal of these used sharps. The container is also not filled exceeding mark given. Many injections are given every day through one time devices or reusable syringes and all the reusable tools need to be sterilized before using it again. Even the disposed of syringes need to be sterilized before disposal. Hence many companies or manufacturers produce special containers just for sharps disposal.
Sharps containers are found in every medical office and sometimes in public places as well for the general public to safely dispose of the hypodermic needles or sharps used at home. There are sharp containers that can be disposable or reused after disinfection. The reusable containers are made of hard plastic or metal while the disposable ones are made of plastic or plasticized cardboard. The lids are tightly closed that makes it difficult to take the disposed of sharp out once it is gone in.
Every hospital or clinic needs government-approved sharps disposal containers but if you are using syringes or needles at home, it is not mandatory to have a government-approved disposal container. However, having any separate container to properly dispose of those syringes and needles would be safe for everyone and the environment as well. You can make your own containers from hard plastic bottles or jugs to keep your surroundings clean and safe.
Earlier, sharps were treated in two ways, that included used and unused sharps. Used sharps were treated differently and unused sharps were treated differently. However, nowadays sharps are treated as the same, whether used or unused. They are all considered to be carriers of pathogens and are handled the same. If a needle is attached to the syringe, it will be put into the sharps container, without thinking of breaking it.
In addition to syringes, sharps include connecting needles, lancets and auto-injectors connection set.
If these used sharps are not handled properly, many people are at risk of infections, if come in contact with. They can severely harm the environment and all of the bio-life, which is why they should be disposed of using proper containers designated specifically for these type of wastes. Healthcare workers who directly handle these sharps are at utmost risk. Additionally, patients and people living around them are also at high risk. These infected syringes or needles or sharps can affect many people with some deadly diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B or C, etc.
Hence it gets very essential to dispose of these medical wastes properly using specially designed medical sharps containers for proper disposal. These containers are secured with tight lids that do not let the sharps come out once they are disposed into it. It is very essential to dispose of these medical wastes to protect the environment and the whole of the bio-life.