Medical Sharps are instruments intended to cut or penetrate skin (e.g., needles, syringes with needles, tissue punch, lancets and razor blades). Medical Sharps require specific disposal methods into an approved Medical Sharps container to prevent them from going into regular trash.
Other sharp lab items are capable of causing cuts or scrapes but aren’t classified as Medical Sharps. “Pokies” or non-medical sharp items can poke through biohazard disposal bags when discarded, which could cause injury or an exposure event. If non-biohazardous, dispose into a labeled hard-sided container lined with 1 – 2 plastic bags. Dispose of biohazardous “pokies” into a labeled rigid plastic container for disposal and place into a MERI bin.
For details see the EH&S Sharps Disposal webpage for Sharps Disposal guidance.
The UW-Madison Office of Biological Safety is a proud member of the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA).