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Safer Disposal Methods Recommended for Used Syringes

Release Date: 02/03/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Dave Deegan 202-564-7839 /

(02/03/05) Recently updated publications encourage people who self-administer medication using needles, such as diabetics, to dispose of these materials in the safest possible way and to reduce the amount of this potentially dangerous waste. Approximately 8 to 9 million people use syringes for a wide range of medicinal purposes, creating about 3 billion used needles a year. EPA's new publications promote safer disposal alternatives for used needles, such as by utilizing community drop-off programs, household hazardous waste facilities, sharps mailback programs or at-home needle destruction devices.

The two new pamphlets, Protect Yourself, Protect Others: Safe Options for Needle Disposal (EPA530-F-04-004) and Protecting Your Community from Sharps: Options for Safe Disposal of Sharps (EPA530-K-04-001) were developed in collaboration with the Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal. The first
attempts to re-educate self-injectors about better management of used needles, and the second is designed for use by states to help keep used syringes out of all trash collections. The Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal is a collaboration of businesses, community groups, nonprofit associations,
and state, local, and federal government entities committed to promoting public awareness of the hazards posed by improperly disposed sharps.

Both pamphlets are available at: . Printed copies may also be ordered at: , or by by e-mail at:, or by calling 800-490-9198. Self-injectors should request EPA530-F-04-004; state and local governments should request EPA530-K-04-001.