Sharps Fact Sheet

Sharps are discarded articles that may cause punctures or cuts including, but not limited to, all used and discarded hypodermic needles and syringes, Pasteur pipettes, scalpels, capillary tubes, razor blades and suture needles. Sharps may also be described as any material rigid enough that, when cracked or broken, is able to pierce the skin (e.g., a broken beaker, metal from a cage, or a broken test tube).

This fact sheet contains information on: how to dispose of sharps; how to obtain sharps containers; what to do when a hypodermic needle is found on campus; and, what to do if you are injured with a hypodermic needle.

Syringes and needles are used commonly in laboratories and can be the target of thefts, if not stored appropriately, by people who want to use them for other purposes. All syringes and needles should be stored out of sight such as in a drawer or cabinet, so they cannot be seen from the door of the lab.

If You Are Injured With A Hypodermic Needle

Immediately wash the injured area with soap and water and seek medical attention at the University Health Services Urgent Care Department. Report the incident to your supervisor and to the EH&S Biological Safety Services Manager at: 545-2682. File a Notice of Injury Report, available at Human Resources, Whitmore Administration Building Room 330.


Go to Biological Safety Manual