Here’s the point: Properly dispose of sharps

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The word “sharps” is a medical term for small instruments with sharp points used to puncture or cut skin. They are used at home, at work and while traveling to manage medical conditions of people or their pets for allergies, diabetes, hepatitis and similar conditions.

Used needles and other sharps are dangerous if not disposed of properly. They can injure people and spread infections.

Never drop needles or other sharps in a wastebasket, including needles used to administer medicine to pets.

If your skin is accidently punctured or scratched by a used sharp, you could contract one of the most common infections, such as Hepatitis B or C, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Dallas County Health Department Environmental Health Administrator Ted Trewin reminds residents that sharps sealed in puncture-proof containers may be dropped off at the Dallas County Health Department. This sharps program is for individuals living in Dallas County, not for schools or businesses.

Funding for the program comes from the department’s rural basic fund. Rural residents of unincorporated Dallas County pay into this fund. Schools, clinics, or businesses may utilize the Metro Waste Authority sharps recycling program at 515-244-0021.

For more information about disposing of sharps, contact Trewin at 515-993-5803 or ted.trewin@dallascountyiowa.gov.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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