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Syringes are Sharps?

Medical and biological waste is regulated in MA by 105 CMR 480, Minimum Requirements for the Management of Medical or Biological Waste (State Sanitary Code Chapter VIII). This MA Department of Public Health regulation defines medical or biological waste, and further defines sharps.

According to 105 CMR 480.010, sharps are defined as discarded medical articles that may cause puncture or cuts, including, but not limited to, all needles, syringes, lancets, pen needles, pasteur pipettes, broken medical glassware/plasticware, scalpel blades, suture needles, dental wires, and disposable razors used in connection with a medical procedure.

Everyone knows that needles are considered sharps, and it should be common practice to dispose of needles and syringes as a single unit rather than removing the needle from the syringe. However, in cases when a syringe is used without a needle, remember that the syringe itself is considered a sharp and must be disposed of into a sharps container rather than into the standard red bag waste.

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