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How Do I Choose the Best Syringe Container?

By Nicole Etolen
Updated May 17, 2024
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A syringe container, also called a sharps container, is important because it keeps sharp needles out of reach and helps prevent the spread of infectious disease. The containers range in size and materials, from large floor models to small tabletop models, and from cardboard to plastic. When choosing the best container, look for one that is easy to use, safely contains the hazards materials, and can be placed in a convenient location.

The first factor to consider when choosing a syringe container is where you plan to use the container. If you are looking for one to use in your medical practice that involves regular use of needles, you may want to opt for a large floor model. If you plan to use it at home for daily injections, a smaller model may be more efficient and safe because you can place it in an inconspicuous spot out of reach of children and pets.

After you have decided on the size of your syringe container, look for one that has an easy opening mechanism for disposal. Some containers have flip-top lids while others have small openings in the top that automatically seal from the inside so needles cannot escape if the container is turned upside-down. You need a container that you can open with one hand, as your other hand will be holding the syringe. Do not recap your needle or set it down on any surface after using it, as you run the risk of puncturing yourself or losing the needle.

Syringe containers come in a variety of colors, although red is the most popular choice. The color red is traditionally used to call attention to an object and warn others to stop or proceed with caution. Other colors may easily be mistaken for a trashcan, especially if it is a floor model. Your syringe container should also include the universal bio-hazard symbol placed prominently on the front as an additional warning.

While there are numerous approved materials used in the design of syringe containers, plastic is one the least expensive and safest choices. The material used in cardboard containers is thicker than your average box, but still runs the risk of becoming perforated. Metal containers are also good options, but may be more costly than plastic.

Disposing of the needles in your syringe container is just as important as the container itself. Some manufacturers offer a mail back program, in which they provide you with a safe package and a shipping label so you can send your needles back to them for disposal. Hospitals and other medical facilities also offer disposal programs that allow you to drop your needles into a larger syringe container or other disposal system. Do not throw your used needles in the garbage or any other location that is not specifically designed for sharps disposal.

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