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February 22, 1965


JAMA. 1965;191(8):680. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080080070031

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To the Editor:—  Neither the letter of Dr. Joseph J. Healy (JAMA191:57 [Jan 4] 1965) nor your editorial (same issue, p 47) offers a mode of destruction of the disposable syringe and needle other than incineration. The available modality remains boiling water. The plastic needle top and the plunger of the most popular commercial type deform in boiling water.You do not mention another danger in disposal of the disposable needle—pricking the skin of the handy man, the garbage collector, and the scavenger. Garbage collectors of the official city sanitation department refuse to handle any garbage in a number of apartment houses because several employees have been pricked despite wearing gloves. Break the needle and deposit the broken halves in a cardboard container kept in the treatment room.

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