Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Disposal of Sharps, Artsy Waxed Cloth, and Adams, St. Helens, and Goat - PDX (and beyond) Sights

In the restroom past security at PDX (and other airports) they have needle exchange boxes. I was scratching my head over this one. Can you take hypodermic needles through security with your carry on? The person at the Alaska Airlines desk didn't know. 

Drugwarfacts posts:
"(syringe exchange definition) "Syringe exchange programs (SEPs) provide sterile syringes in exchange for used syringes to reduce transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other bloodborne infections associated with reuse of contaminated syringes by injection-drug users (IDUs). . . . SEPs can help prevent bloodborne pathogen transmission by increasing access to sterile syringes among IDUs and enabling safe disposal of used syringes. Often, programs also provide other public health services, such as HIV testing, risk-reduction education, and referrals for substance-abuse treatment."

Our flight from Portland to Seattle on Monday left from Section A - where smaller regional planes fly from.  On the way, we passed "Mechanics of Hither and Yon" created by Brenda Mallory.  It covered two two-story walls and part of a third wall

Oregon Public Radio writes: 
Mallory creates her multimedia sculptures with an unusual combination of welded steel, waxed cloth, and nuts and bolts. Inspired by the location, she calls this piece The Mechanics of Hither and Yon.

We quickly rose above the Portland clouds and as we crossed over the Columbia River into Washington the clouds disappeared and it was sunny and beautiful. (Well, it wasn't quite that abrupt.)  And we saw these peaks out the window.   First was, what I now think was Goat Mountain.  Mt. St. Helens is much easier to tell because it blew up in 1980. 

Mt Adams(12,276f- 3743m) , Mt. St. Helens (8337f -2541m), and, I think, Goat Mountain (4965f-1513m)

When we got to Seattle, I asked a TSA guy about the needle exchange and whether people could take syringes through security.  He said you could.  I looked on line to see what TSA actually says:

Notify the Security Officer that you have diabetes and are carrying your supplies with you. The following diabetes-related supplies and equipment are allowed through the checkpoint once they have been screened:
  • Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products (vials or box of individual vials, jet injectors, biojectors, epipens, infusers, and preloaded syringes;
  • Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other injectable medication;
  • lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs, meter-testing solutions;
  • Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies (cleaning agents, batteries, plastic tubing, infusion kit, catheter, and needle); Insulin pumps and supplies must be accompanied by insulin.
  • Glucagon emergency kit;
  • Urine ketone test strips;
  • Unlimited number of used syringes when transported in Sharps disposal container or other similar hard-surface container.
  • Sharps disposal containers or similar hard-surface disposal container for storing used syringes and test strips.
Insulin in any form or dispenser must be clearly identified.
If you are concerned or uncomfortable about going through the walk-through metal detector with your insulin pump, notify the Security Officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and would like a full-body pat-down and a visual inspection of your pump instead.
Advise the Security Officer that the insulin pump cannot be removed because it is inserted with a catheter (needle) under the skin.
Advise the Security Officer if you are experiencing low blood sugar and are in need of medical assistance.
You have the option of requesting a visual inspection of your insulin and diabetes associated supplies.

But needle exchanges are meant for drug addicts to prevent AIDS and hepatitis from needle sharing.   So I looked back at the photo.  It doesn't actually say needle exchange.  Maybe it's just for disposal.  King County (Seattle) has this on their website:

Safe and legal disposal of sharps
Disposal of syringes, needles and lancets is regulated. These items are called "sharps." They can carry hepatitis, HIV and other germs that cause disease. Tossing them into the trash or flushing them down the toilet can pose health risks for others. Regulations governing disposal of sharps protect garbage and other utility workers and the general public from needle sticks and illness.
There are different rules and disposal options for different circumstances. The main difference is between sharps that are used in a business and those that are used in the home for personal reasons. And, for home users, it makes a difference whether you live in the City of Seattle or if you live in an area of King County outside Seattle. The different regulations and disposal options are explained below. [Read the rest here.]


  1. Disposal of Sharps, also known as clinical waste, refers to biological products, which are essentially useless. Medical Waste Disposal is an environmental concern, as many medical wastes are classified as infectious or bio-hazardous and can spread infectious disease. Sharps Waste Disposal Chesapeake Va

  2. Used needles and other sharps are hazardous to people and pets if not disposed of safely because they can injure people and spread infections that cause serious health conditions. The most common infections are Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Impact Hygiene provides a convenient sharps waste disposal solution handled by professionally trained technicians. The containers you need to safely and securely dispose of scalpels, needles, syringes and other medical waste will be provided, and serviced to provide you with convenience and peace of mind.

    Leaders of Restroom Hygiene


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