FDA launches website to educate consumers about safe ‘sharps’ disposal

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday launched a website to educate the public about safe disposal of used needles and other sharp medical devices. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 3 billion needles and other sharps are used in U.S. homes each year. “Sharps” disposal guidelines and programs vary by jurisdiction. For example, California prohibits throwing needles in household trash, while Florida, New Jersey and New York have established community drop-off programs at hospitals and other health care facilities. “Safe disposal of used needles and other sharps is a public health priority,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “This website provides information about how to keep used sharps from ending up in places where they could harm people.”