Sharps Box/Containers (also referred to as Sharps Disposal Containers, Medical Waste Disposal Containers, Biomedical Waste Disposal Containers, etc.) are specially made containers used to contain hazardous “piercing” instruments and reduce the chance of spreading infection. It is standard practice in developed and even underdeveloped countries for used needles to be placed immediately into a sharp’s container after a single use, with only a few exceptions to the general rule. Needles are dropped into the container without touching the outside of the container. Needles should never be pushed or forced into the container, as damage to the container and/or needlestick injuries may result.

 What does the ‘Sharps’ mean?

Sharps is the term used to describe any item that is capable of puncturing the skin such as syringes, needles, lancets, broken glass with blood on it, scalpels, etc. Because these ‘sharps’ potentially have disease-carrying blood or other potentially infectious materials on them, they are capable of ‘injecting’ that blood or fluid into anyone who comes in contact with them. Examples of sharps include:

  • Needles, syringes, lancets, broken glass with blood on it
  • Suture needles, scalpel blades, butterflies (both traditional and safety)
  • Vacutainer tubes (both plastic and glass)
  • Phlebotomy needles with vacutainer tube holder attached
  • Capillary tubes (both plastic and glass)
  • IV catheters
  • Dental anesthetic carpules with blood
  • Dental wires and endodontic files
  • Other sharp objects contaminated with blood such as box cutters and broken glass

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