Examples of sharps include:
Needles – hollow needles used to inject drugs or medication under the skin
Syringes – devices used to inject medication into or withdraw fluid from the body
Lancets, also called “fingerstick” devices – instruments with a short, two-edged blade used to get drops of blood for testing. Lancets are commonly used in the treatment of diabetes.
Infusion sets – tubing systems with a needle used to deliver drugs to the body. Only the needle needs to be disposed of in the sharps container.
Used needles and other sharps are dangerous to people and pets if not disposed of safely because they can injure people and spread infections causing serious health conditions. The most common infections are:
Used sharps should be immediately placed in a sharps disposal container. FDA-cleared sharps containers are generally available through pharmacies, medical supply companies, health care providers and online. A sturdy plastic jug, such as a one-quart plastic milk jug, may be also used. Loose needles should never be thrown into the trash or toilet.
Safe sharps disposal is important whether you are at home, at work, at school, traveling, or in other public places such as hotels, parks, and restaurants.
For more information about safe sharps disposal or for additional locations, visit
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at www.fda.gov and safeneedledisposal.org